Biodegradation & Composting People and Leaders PLA

Total CEO Questioned by French MPs Regarding Bioplastics

Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, was questioned by French MPs in the Economic Affairs Committee on September 17. He had to answer questions on the biodegradation and his ambition on bioplastics.

Question asked by French MP Graziella Melchior to TOTAL CEO in the Economic Affairs Committee.

Total has just inaugurated its first Bioplastic plant in Thailand which is run together with Dutch partner Corbion. Total becomes one of the largest bioplastics producer through this plant that polymerises lactic acid and with an annual capacity of 75K ton. This may appear as a big environmental-friendly step especially in the context of the circular economy, however many NGOs seem to be skeptic about this material. Many of these bioplastics are biodegradable but not all of them. What about the bioplastics that you produce and what are your ambitions on bioplastics?

Answers of Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné

PLA is biodegradable. I guarantee this. That’s the idea. Because if we make a non-biodegradable bioplastics then … However, It’s an attempt that we’re trying.

Economically speaking, It’s very complicated to establish bioplastics. People who buy those bioplastics don’t want to pay for the bio. Big yogurt or shampoo producer want to buy bio packaging but want to buy it at the same price as normal plastics. However, it’s more expensive to make bioplastics.

In Thailand, we use sugar cane to make our bioplastics. There’s no relationship between sugar cane and oil prices and plastics are related to oil prices. So it’s an economically difficult situation.

We have decided to explore this path, but it’s a path that is difficult to explore. We have become part of the top 3 bioplastics producers overnight. It’s a very small industry. I think this path is part of the global energetic transition.

There’s another more important path and that is recycled plastics. We have set the target of 30% plastic recycling by 2030 and we have massively invested in this option.


Check the Video

On the right side of the video, you have to scroll down until you find Mme Graziella Melchior. Her questions starts at 1h 23m 31 sec. The answer of Total CEO on this question starts at – 1h 32min 00 sec