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Carrier bag ban boosts bioplastics

Italian legislation banning the sale of non-biodegradable plastic bags has caused a jump in demand for bio-based plastics, US manufacturer Cereplast has claimed.

“The movement to ban the use of petroleum-based plastic bags across the globe is beginning to have a strong impact on the growth of the bioplastics industry, and is thereby boosting demand for Cereplast resin in Europe,” said Frederic Scheer, CEO and chairman of Cereplast, which makes durable yet industrially-compostable plastics.

Cereplast earlier this year entered into a supply agreement with colourised-resin supplier RIME Masterbatch. Scheer said that since September 2010, Cereplast has shipped approximately 200 tons a month of its Compostable 3000 film-grade resin to RIME. He added that RIME increased its order in November and said he expects shipments to continue rising and reach approximately 1000 tons a month by the second quarter of 2011.

Scheer said that European manufacturers are increasingly seeking out plastic alternatives, including bioplastic blown film, to prepare for and comply with legislation such as the Italian ban on non-biodegradable bags, which is finally due to take effect in January 2011.

“With over 60 to 100 million barrels of oil used each year for the manufacturing of plastic bags, European countries are passing legislation aimed at reducing the use of oil in the production process as an effort to preserve and protect the environment,” he added.

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