Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research said the plastics have the technical features to compete with petroleum-based methods, but are more expensive so competitive production needs to be on a larger scale, there needs to be more research and new facilities.
Commercially available bio-based plastics do not yet possess all the properties displayed by petroleum-based plastics however, advances have been made in terms of heat stability, strength and water resistance.
Certain bioplastics are stronger and show greater heat stability and possess unique features such as enhancing food safety and shelf life.
Christiaan Bolck from Wageningen UR said that other forms of cost-neutral legislation, besides taxation, could support development.
“In Italy disposable bags have to be made from biodegradable materials. In the Netherlands there aren’t any definite aims, let alone measures.
“There is one ray of hope; parliament recently adopted a resolution to ensure that 3% of all packaging will be biodegradable. But it is not clear how this will be achieved."