Conference Notes Events

K 2016 Breakfast What has changed?

Here's a reproduction of Karen Laird's article from the website of the Kunststoff, the biggest global show on plastics, and bio-plastics, taking place every third year in Düsseldorf (Germany). Enjoy!

Breakfast event aims to help businesses leverage emerging opportunities. by: Karen Laird K Show, September 30, 2016

Much has changed in the world of bioplastics since the Bioplastics Business Breakfast event was organized for the first time back at K 2010. Six years ago, when talking to product developers or converters, most were quick to agree that bioplastics were undeniably a good idea—but just not for their business. Fast forward to 2016, and the discussion has undergone a radical shift. The concept of the circular economy has caught the attention of politicians and companies, and with it, the perception has grown of how this could impact, say, the impending problem of resource scarcity, or help create new jobs and increase competitiveness, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting better waste management, to name but a few benefits.

NatureWorks Business Director Frank Diodato at the K 2013 Bioplastics Business Breakfast.

The bio-economy is an essential component of the circular economy, as it provides the resource base for economic activities. Today, bioplastics are an acknowledged part of the bio-economy, an economy where goods are made from responsibly produced biomass. Moreover, they represent an industry that has the potential to help decouple economic growth from resource depletion and environmental impact.

As an industry, bioplastics is demonstrating impressive growth. In fact, worldwide demand for bio-based plastics has been forecast to see 8 to 12% annual growth through 2020, far outpacing conventional plastics. Packaging is currently the largest market, but as properties improve and volumes increase, opportunities are also opening up for durable consumer goods, medical devices and the automotive industry, to name but a few.

To realize that bioplastics present an opportunity to contribute significantly to a company’s sustainability strategy—and impact its bottom line—is one thing. To understand how to leverage this opportunity is another. To that end, Michael Thielen of Bioplastics Magazine once again is hosting the Bioplastics Business Breakfast event at the K show, a compact series of mini-symposia on October 20 and 22 from 8 AM to 12:30 PM presenting the latest industry insights and developments. A central theme is the sustainability and durability of bio-based materials for broad applications. On day one, the focus is on bioplastics in packaging; day two offers an in-depth look at PLA, the bioplastic “workhorse” while the third and last morning is devoted wholly to durables and bioplastics.

The breakfasts offer participants an occasion to meet peers and colleagues, and to connect with experts from industry, academia and associations on a relatively informal basis. The morning sessions finish by lunch, leaving participants ample time to explore the 17 halls that make up the rest of the show, where innovations and a host of novel products and bioplastics technologies will also be on display. Participants interested in finding out more about the products and developments presented can visit the booths of—among others—companies presenting at the Bioplastics Business Breakfast event.

K 2016 is styled as a premier business and information platform geared to the future, with innovation as its hallmark. The Bioplastics Business Breakfast seminars fit seamlessly into this concept.

Change is in the air. Circular thinking is taking hold throughout the value chain, from product design and production processes to new business models and consumption patterns, and bioplastics have an important role to play in that. Participants in the Bioplastics Business Breakfast event at K 2016 can take advantage of the opportunity to learn about what’s going on in bioplastics and talk to experts, and to find out how they can truly become part of—and leverage—this emerging technology.


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