Green Chemicals

In the face of the environmental challenges our planet currently grapples with, a pressing need for innovative solutions has arisen. Sustainable development, with its emphasis on the well-being of present and future societies, is steering the discourse away from merely minimizing the environmental impact of economic activities. 

Petroleum-based goods have been known to harm both the environment and human health. The exploration for alternative raw materials is uncovering a number of greener choices. The advent of green chemicals, derived from renewable biomass such as natural sugars and plant starches, is reshaping the landscape by providing environmentally friendlier substitutes for traditional plastics.

Industry Insights

Green chemicals demonstrate numerous ecological advantages over conventional plastics: a lower carbon footprint, fewer waste products, and fewer toxic chemicals in the environment. Products made with green chemicals often biodegrade, limiting the accumulating plastic debris. However, the industry still remains significantly fragmented due to high production costs compared to petrochemicals. Furthermore, economies of scale, learning curves, technological prowess and cost of raw material forestalls development. In order to aid the shift to green products, countries are taxing petroleum-based products at a higher rate. Future policies aimed at supporting alternatives to petrochemicals and fuel base plastics can increase demand for green chemicals.

Currently, very few market projections are available for industry trends. The Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites and European Bioplastics published a breakdown of global production capacities. As of 2022, Asia-Pacific produced 56%  of the world’s bioplastics, followed by Europe with 25%. As China concentrates on implementing its foreign investment regulations, it is anticipated that the sector in this region will grow quickly. ​​Europe stands out as a hub for research and development in green chemical usage. Projections indicate a significant surge in European production capacities, with Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom leading both in demand and production. The food and beverage industry in Germany, in particular, has been a driving force behind the increased adoption of bio-plastics, propelled by the diminishing use of single-use plastics. The automotive sector is shifting towards bio-plastics as well, with a goal of minimizing a vehicle’s weight to reduce emissions.  


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