UK-based Biome Bioplastics has welcomed the findings of a new report by the Biomass Biorefinery Network (BBNet), which has identified significant growth potential for the UK’s compostable plastic packaging market.
Published earlier this month, “Plastics in the Bioeconomy” looked into the current state of the UK’s compostable packaging market, suggesting that the market was poised for a potential tenfold growth over the next five years.
According to estimates, there are currently 10,000 tonnes of compostable packaging on the UK market, representing less than 1% of all consumer plastic packaging.
However, the study suggested that there was potential for the figure to increase to over 100,000 tonnes by 2025.
The projected growth, the report said, is driven by the need for compostable packaging to package food items, plastics bags to hold food waste and food-contaminated convenience goods.
Also contributing to the increase will be the UK government’s ongoing revision of its regulations and policies relating to plastics and waste collection, as well as the WRAP-coordinated UK Plastics Pact (UKPP).
Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) announced ambitious targets for changes in plastic packaging in the UKPP over a year ago.
As part of the changes, 70% of packaging is to be effectively recycled or composted by 2025.
“Only approximately 14% of the total plastic packaging put onto the market in the UK is reprocessed and once contaminated material is deducted, no more than 10% is effectively recycled in the UK itself,” said Paul Mines, CEO of Biome Bioplastics in comments.
According to Mines, some 60% of plastic packaging is “not even collected” for recycling and is landfilled or incinerated instead.
“While recycling of conventional plastics will be part of the answer [to plastic waste problem], ‘Plastics in the Bioeconomy’ highlights that, over the next five years, some 7% of the solution could come from bio-based compostable plastics,” Mines added.