Corona Impact on Bioplastics in April

Impact of corona confinement measures on the bioplastics sector for April 2020.

The impact of the covid19 / corona lockdown measures on the bioplastics industry will be a reduced turn over of

  • Between 20.61% and 23.32% in April
  • 15.75% in March

These are average numbers; some companies will be more or less impacted.

These are worldwide numbers; all countries are included with no exceptions.

These are consolidated numbers covering the complete production and commercial cycle.

Food Packaging

The food packaging industry will be less impacted than other applications such as the automotive sector.

Restaurants and hotel food consumption are replaced by retail consumption. Retail servings are usually more packaged in plastic than hotel and restaurants servings.

PET bottles should be a winner. Hotel and restaurant water and soft drinks consumption (usually in glass bottles) are replaced by retail consumption (mostly PET bottles and cans).

The contamination fear should drive soft drink consumption from “cans” to “plastic bottles” because the “orifice” of a plastic bottle is hermetically sealed contrary to cans where you put your lips on a unprotected surface that may be contaminated during transport or retail storage.

The following bottle cap model may be a winner:

The pre-corona demand for recycled content packaging (post consumer recycling) was higher than supply. The corona crisis will not solve the supply side.

The corona may become the end of buffet food in hotels and restaurants. The “buffet servings” should be replaced by table service and/ or separately packaged portions which should increase the use of plastic packaging.

The corona crisis may have a negative impact on retail bulk sales and “bring-your-own” packaging.

Plastic Bans

Some countries have decided to suspend and delay plastic bag bans due to circumstances.

EU (commissioner Timmermans) will dogmatically implement the SUP ban which may be illogical in the context of a corona crisis:

  • SU packaging and bags are an extra layer of hygiene and security against corona virus contamination.
  • Companies have less time and resources to search for alternatives.
  • The economy and supply chain have been disrupted.

Oil vs Biobased

Crude oil prices have reached an historical low.

Low oil prices are a linear disadvantage for biobased plastics.

Economic uncertainties will delay green investments.

The Bio-economy has been the first to freeze payments, new hires and to stop cash flow circulation which was the wrong thing to do.

The bio-economy lacks leadership to convert a threat into an opportunity.

Post Corona Recovery

There are many new initiatives to promote a “green” recovery and post corona reconstruction.

These are mainly aimed at profiling politicians and companies.

It may be a wrong policy choice to see this economic crisis as an opportunity to install a bio-economy in the EU because the EU bio-economy is mainly subsidised and not operational.

The main post-corona concern should be to reconstruct the economy asap and to avoid a socio-economic disaster, recession and deflation.

Cheap oil prices will be the most efficient tool for the economic reconstruction.

Winners and Losers

The Corona crisis will have winners and losers.

Some build walls, others build wind mills during storms.

Some companies have been able to adapt thanks to agile leadership and workforce.

Some companies have deployed smart marketing and communications campaigns for instance.

Smart leaders hire smarter people to be told what to do. Wrong leaders hire less smart people because they’re afraid to be outsmarted.

You realise where your organisation stands during extreme circumstances like the corona crisis.

Confinement Start Date

  • Wuhan (China) – 23 January
  • South Korea – 23 February
  • Italy – 10 March
  • Spain – 14 March
  • France – 17 March
  • Belgium – 18 March
  • Australia – 21 March
  • Germany – 22 March
  • UK – 23 March
  • US – 3 April

Facts of the Month

Belgium has the lowest corona death ratio …. per minister.

You need 4 Belgian ministers to buy face masks.

Here’s a Belgian Minister putting on his face mask … help!!!

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