Reports & Studies

Review of 2019 – Top 10 News

Let's look at the 10 most important news of 2019. 

Plastic Waste Crisis

Marine plastic pollution became a hot topic in the public opinion with the image of a straw stuck in a turtle’s nose. The abysses of the recycling industry became visible when China and other Asian countries stopped importing waste from Western countries.

This resulted in worldwide plastic bans and the EU adopting an SUP directive. Plastic straws became the symbol of marine pollution as they were an easy target for politicians. Banning plastic straws became a shortcut to political opportunism.

It became visible that plastic had a double face. (A) It has an important impact on the environment in terms of (1) sourcing / resources and (2) end-of life. (B) It’s a galactic champion compared to other materials; it can’t be replaced overnight.

Bioplastics offers a solution to both plastic challenges (1 & 2). However, we, the bioplastic industry, were unable to communicate this successfully. The plastic waste crisis could have been an opportunity for us but we missed the wave and we’ll be impacted by the numerous plastic bans coming at us.

University of Plymouth Study

Scientists from the University of Plymouth tested several plastic bags on their “biodegradation” claims resulting in the conclusion that none of the bags broke down after three years. The first article was picked up by mainstream media but not the rectifications and replies. We were unable to respond proportionally and it showed our Achilles’ heel: communications and marketing.

New Feedstocks

2019 taught us that it’s literally possible to produce bioplastics with any kind of feedstock. Hemp and Lignin are set to become blockbusters feedstock.


The Bio-on story could be resumed with Frank Sinatra’s words: That’s life …You’re riding high in April, shot down in May. Marco Astorri reached the top and was then placed under house arrest. The saga goes as follow: Bio-on is listed on the Borsa Italiana, Quintessential Capital Management issued a very critical report in July and Bio-on’s stock collapsed overnight. Italian Justice intervened and placed Bio-on CEO Marcoi Astorri under house arrest. In the meantime, a new CEO was named and the company may survive through debt restructuring.


Synvina was a joint-venture between BASF and Avantium to build a plant in Antwerp (Belgium) to produce FDCA for PEF. BASF abandonned the ship at the last moment with the consequence that the plant wasn’t build and Synvina was re-branded Avantium Renewable Polymers. What a missed opportunity for Bioplastics.

Danimer Scientific Builds a PHA Plant

Danimer Scientific opened a new PHA plant with an annual production capacity of 10.000 tons. The PHA will be commercialised under the Nodax brand.

The Total-Corbion PLA Plant

The new PLA plant of Total-Corbion was build in December 2018. It sook some fine-tunning to get it right but eventually 2019 was the year that Total-Corbion PLA hit the market.


Initially, nobody took India seriously. However, Today, India appears as to be inevitable in many companies sales strategy.

Peter Vanacker, Person of the Year 2019

Peter Vanacker, CEO of Neste is named Person of the Year 2019 for his incredible track records in terms of leadership and strategy. Neste may become the first company to go “full” bioeconomy (biofuels and bioplastics)

The Paper Bottle

The Paper Bottle was presented to the world. Brands such as  Carlsberg, L’Oréal, Coca-Cola and Absolut are joining the project.

Last But Not Least

  • 2019 was an amazing year for the bioplastics sector and the bioeconomy.

A special note for the entrepreneurs and SMEs who took risks and took their chances to surf on the bioeconomic wave. You were the real stars of the show. Some were successful, some weren’t. It’s through these initiatives that the bioplastic sector will succeed.

  • 2019 was an amazing year for

Thank you to the readers who made it happen. I received many remarks and comments from readers, professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners who came to me for advise and help. I did my best to answer every request.

Thank you to the industry professionals who took the time to contact and meet me, and to share valuable resources, time and insights.

Thank you to the kind sponsors who helped keep the boat afloat.

  • Personal remarks

I’m a strong believer in Bioplastics. is a pro-bioplastic and pro-bioeconomy media. My dedication to the bioplastics sector is done through my hard work invested in My purpose has always been to increase visibility and awareness around bioplastics. I remain convinced that bioplastics will rise and thrive!

It’s good to have a look in the mirror and identify where we can improve ourselves. I think I made a few mistakes in my personal remarks and in the way I expressed myself. Wisdom comes with age and I still have to learn so much. I know what’s going to be my resolution for 2020.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let’s make 2020 an even better year for bioplastics!

From with Love.


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