By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
According to a January 24, 2023, item published by the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA), the demand for new bioplastic materials and innovative processing technologies is high, contributing to the European and Italian plastics circular economy policy. According to ITA, European demand for bioplastics (compostable, bio-attributed, and bio-based) grew more than 23 percent annually from 2019 to 2021, increasing from 210,000 to 320,000 tons. ITA states that significant investments for biorefineries and to achieve stakeholders’ other development objectives should lead to production of another 100 kilotons of totally and/or partially renewable polymers by 2030 in Europe. In Italy, in 2021, the biodegradable and compostable plastics industry was made up of 275 companies (five chemical producers, 20 granule producers and distributors, and 250 processors) with 2,895 employees and €1 billion in revenue. ITA states that the volume of bioplastics produced in 2020 increased 13.2 percent, compared to the previous year.