Not just a flash in the pan, but the future. Woodly’s CTO Tommi Vuorinen discusses the possibilities of bioplastics and keeping people and businesses interested in biomaterials.
As we have mentioned before, 2022 can be a tremendous year for bioplastics and bio-based products.
The market seems to be thriving with new and exciting products that are being heralded by media outlets and by consumers. However, wasteful human behaviour is still an issue but that can be solved with a few simple steps.
“It has been noted that the market for bioplastics has seen sizable growth. However, we have to keep in mind that mankind is already overusing renewable materials. When it comes to using bio-based materials as raw materials for plastics, we have to maximise the efficiency of using biomaterials”, says Tommi Vuorinen, the Chief Technology Officer at Woodly.
“By relying upon the basics of a circular economy, we can reduce waste and increase recycling. In the long run, a circular economy will improve the operational efficiency of biomaterials”, continues Vuorinen.
“The main goal is to keep materials in circulation.”
Keeping people interested
The focal point of the bioplastic discussion is to ensure that it is not just a trend but the future. Vuorinen points out that while interest is good, the product needs to be on par with the promises that are being made.
“People, consumers and businesses, are more interested in bioplastics. Of course, it’s crucial that people keep staying interested. Combining the demand with bio-based sustainability means that the material itself has to be actually sustainable and durable”, explains Vuorinen.
“The demand for bioplastics will continue to grow and many new applications will follow without a doubt. We really have not yet seen the true potential of bioplastics”, he continues.
Improved technical qualities
One key reason why bioplastics are more than just a trend is related to the material’s capabilities and qualities. Bioplastics perform much better than ever before and will continue to improve.
“The challenges will always be there as usage increases and applications become technically more demanding. The more options we have for applications, the better we can implement them for the best possible different uses. In the past bioplastics did not yet always match the expectations, but with the help of new technology and innovations, the technical performance and competitiveness of bioplastics have improved. We can manufacture better products for businesses and consumers”, comments Vuorinen.
A circular bioeconomy
Enhancing biomaterials and increasing the number of recyclable bioplastics and bioproducts in the market is a feasible task. Despite certain hardships, the goal is to introduce bio-based as a new sustainable lifestyle choice.
“Despite the technological advancements, some basic challenges will remain. However, it does not matter whether they are big or small because it’s important to focus on putting bio-based materials to efficient use despite any obstacles. Also, product development is and will always be essential. The ideal outcome will combine the best parts of a bioeconomy and circular economy”, summarises Vuorinen.