Is there a conflict between production areas to grow raw materials for bioplastics and those to grow crops for foodstuffs?
Approximately six million metric tonnes of bio-based plastics will be produced in 2017. This takes natural raw materials grown on less than 0.1 percent of the entire area used for agriculture worldwide. By comparison, according to a WWF study, one quarter of all foodstuffs is being discarded today. If one tenth of the cultivation area for these discarded foods would be set apart to grow raw materials for bio-based plastics, all petro-based plastics produced worldwide could be replaced.
At the same time, enormous research efforts are being made to ensure that, even in view of a growing market for bioplastics products, land use will be minimized and sufficient cropland for foodstuff will always be available. Besides, wood or agricultural waste such as green cut or straw can also be used as raw material for bio-based plastics.