The cooperation network "BioPlastik" aims at developing innovative, bio-based, and bio-degradable products from biopolymers. Thereby, the performance characteristics of the bioplastics shall equal or even outperform the characteristics of conventional oil-based plastics. Currently, bioplastic products only serve small niche markets. A further goal of the network is to conquer mass-markets.
Food packaging, carrying bags, functional wear, or toys made of oil-based plastics – one can hardly imagine daily life without these products. But the persistence of the material turns out as a problem, when the plastics to a large extend are non-degradable in nature. The huge amounts of plastics, accumulated in the environment over decades, are not only a threat to the ecosystem, but also to the health of humans and animals.
The utilization of degradable bioplastics is a promising solution. Often, not only the bioplastic products are environmentally friendly, but also the production itself. Due to a rising demand, bio-based plastics have a great chance to replace oil-based plastics on a large scale. New materials with unprecedented products properties can open up completely new markets. Furthermore, the plastic production becomes independent of oil resources due to the utilization of bio-based raw material.
A main principle of the cooperation network is to utilize residue and waste materials for the production of bio-polymers. The raw material can be converted into polymers by microorganisms. After usage, the bio-polymer products shall be recyclable. In case they enter the environment, they shall be bio-degradable within a short period of time.
The economic potential of bioplastics is massive. However, in comparison to oil-based plastics, bioplastics are still very expensive and not competitive. The cooperation network therefore aims at placing the innovative materials in mass-markets, for example the packaging sector. By this means, bioplastic products shall achieve a higher economic efficiency.