As per public sources, the production of polymers and bio-plastic products is done separately and handled by a different set of production companies. Bio-plastics or bio-polymers producers partner with other different manufacturers to produce bio-plastic products made from their polymers, while bio-plastic products manufacturers use polymers from bio-polymers producers or create a joint venture between a polymer manufacturer and the bio-plastic product manufacturer to facilitate the production of a final product. Below are our detailed methodology and deep findings.
To find if manufacturers typically produce the polymers and bio-plastic products, and if they combine both processes or do them separately by a different set of production companies, we began our search by looking into various credible articles, reports, research, and studies. We found one article from a global packaging provider discussing the difference and relationship of bio-plastic and polymer. The article also explains the process of polymerization of materials used in making bio-plastics. We also found a report from the America Chemical Society discussing the two common types of bioplastics. However, these reports did not mention if the bio-plastic manufacturers also produce bio-plastic products.
With the findings got from the above strategy, we proceeded in finding the top producers of bio-plastics in the world and see if these companies also produce bio-plastic products (utensils, bottles, among others) aside from the bio-polymers or bio-plastics. We found a list of the top bio-plastics producers from Bioplastics News website. From this website, we checked the websites of each company to see if they combine the production of polymers and bio-plastic products or is the process separate and handled by a different set of production companies. Finally, we tried to find companies that manufacture bio-plastics products and see if they produce their own polymers. We found one company on a Good Net Org website. We have discussed the company in the findings below.
From above strategies, we have listed a number of companies commonly involved in the production of polymers and bio-plastic products in the findings below.
EXAMPLES OF BIO-PLASTICS
BIO-PLASTIC OR BIO-POLYMERS PRODUCERS
Novamont has also partnered with Sincro company to produce bio-lubricants used to manufacture Matrol-Bi. Celus-Bi is a bio-plastic dedicated to cosmetics sector. From this case, it can be concluded that Novamont only produce the bio-polymers, and through partnerships, separate companies manufacture the bio-plastics products from the bio-polymer produced by it (Novamont). Examples of bio-plastics produced include carrier bags, organic waste bags, nets for fresh fruit and vegetables, and a range of flexible packaging applications; hydraulic fluids, greases, transmission fluid and dielectric fluids; and moisturizers, shampoos, foundation, lipsticks and other cosmetic.
From this case, it can be concluded that Arkema only produce bio-polymers, while other companies use those polymers to produce bio-plastic products. BASF Corporation produces two bio-plastics namely Ecoflex and ecovio. According to Andreas Künkel, the two plastics (Ecoflex and Ecovio) have been developed primarily to help in manufacturing products such as shopping bags and organic waste bags. The bags are made from valuable compost together with the bio-waste in an industrial composting facility. German discount supermarket chain Aldi Sud partnered with Victor Güthoff & Partner Group to manufacture their own shopping bags made of BASF’s biodegradable plastic Ecovio®. The combination of Ecovio and Ecoflex allows film manufacturers such as Victor to produce plastic bags and other film products with tailor-made properties. BASF sealed a strategic manufacturing partnership with Heritage Plastics, Inc. which enables BASF to expand manufacturing of its Ecovio bio-polymers. Here, it can be concluded that BASF only produces the bio-polymers, and other companies like Victor manufacture final products from them (bio-polymers).
BIO-PLASTICS PRODUCTS PRODUCERS
From this case, it can be concluded that EcoWare does not produce its own bio-polymers.
From this case, it can be concluded that to produce the Bio-Eco bio-plastic packaging, two companies partnered, one produces the bio-plastic, while the other manufactures the plastic bag products.
Based on the cases above, the production of polymers and bio-plastic products is done separately and handled by a different set of production companies; this is:
- Bio-plastics or bio-polymers producers partner with other and different manufacturers to produce bio-plastic products made from their polymers like Novamont and BASF.
- Some bio-plastic products manufacturers use polymers from bio-polymers producers like EcoWare using Natureworks' Ingeo, while others create a joint venture between a polymer manufacturer and the bio-plastic product maker like the Bio-Eco.