Target Group: Bio-based plastics

Sector description

Bio-based plastics industry uses renewable resources to produce plastic materials and products which reduce the industrial consumption of non-renewable raw materials. Currently available Product Category Rules (PCRs) for bio-based plastics will be analysed.


The bio-based plastic sector represents a small contribution to the plastic sector. According to Plastic Europe, the global plastic production in 2010 was 265 million tonnes, whereas 725.000 tonnes of bio-based plastics were produced worldwide for the same year. Nevertheless, the bio-based plastics production growth rate has become of great importance since 41% of annual growth rate through 2015 is estimated.

[product example] The main benefit of bio-based plastics from an economic perspective is determined as a decreased dependence on fossil feedstock (thus security of supply and less price fluctuation), but they present the disadvantage of their expensive cost in comparison with oil-based polymers. LCAs on bio-based plastics have been developed in the last decade as a way of showing the environmental advantages of these materials against the conventional plastics. At the beginning, SMEs made the first efforts to develop bio-based plastics, but only large companies had the resources to carry out these environmental analyses.