Michael Stephen Column

A Threat to Humanity and Market Research (FREE)

In today’s column, Michael discusses a threat to humanity, and some interesting market research from the USA. This is a FREE article


I have often wondered why there is so much opposition to plastic, even though it is by far the best material for a very wide range of applications, and even though d2w technology now exists to manufacture it so that it quickly biodegrades if it gets into the environment as litter. It seems that plastic is seen by some people to be symptomatic of all that is wrong with the modern world. 

I was very interested therefore to read an article in the Daily Telegraph on 28th May that “Until quite recently, there has been little doubt in mainstream political discourse of the inherent value of growth itself. Not anymore. There is now quite vociferously among us, an ideological movement which asserts that continuous economic growth with its consequences of widespread popular prosperity and material comfort, is a pernicious thing: that more people having more money is a threat to the survival of everyone.”

“You will recognise this position in its Green incarnation: the planet is in imminent danger of being overwhelmed by raging consumerism with all the implications that has for increased use of energy.”

“As for those heavily populated developing nations which haven’t yet caught up with our privileged standards – well, they can forget it. Any expectations the poorest people on earth might have had for sharing in the bonanza of Western economic success must now be out of the question. But they won’t be alone in their comfortless existence because the West will have to voluntarily relinquish its advantages. The new ethic decrees not that we should make the poor parts of the world richer but that we should make the rich parts of the world poorer.”

“Whatever your views on the urgency of climate change, the tone of this evangelism must be disturbing if only because there is something so odd about its psychology. It expresses supposed deep concern for the future of humanity but suggests something much darker: a loathing of human-ness itself. Maybe that is why the talk is of saving “the planet” rather than people: because in truth, this campaign does not like human beings very much.”

“The less impact they are permitted to have on the “ecosystem” the better! There is a bizarre merging of Malthus and medievalism here. The world cannot support its growing – and increasingly aspirational – population and this dilemma is all the fault of human wickedness: the endless, unquenchable desire to have more and more of everything and the venality that profits from that desire.”

“The driving force here is not reasonableness. It is a crusade against the assumptions that created the modern world, which puts human need at its moral centre. Nature itself, always referred to as if it were a conscious being, is sentimentalised in an infantile way.”


There is an American company called “Persistence Market Research” which publishes research on plastics.  It says in its latest issue that “the global market is expected to soar at a rate of 5.4% (value CAGR) during the forecast period [2018-2026], mainly driven by increasing need for environment-friendly packaging solutions and supportive government regulations with respect to the use of oxo-biodegradable plastics for packaging. In 2017, the global oxo-biodegradable plastic packaging market stood at US$ 637.3 Mn and is estimated to reach a value higher than US$ 1,000 Mn by the end of the assessment period (2026).

Plastic is a vital component in the packaging industry. A higher percentage of various types of plastics are being used for packaging, and are being discarded after use.  As complete elimination of plastic is not possible, manufacturers have been promoting the use of packaging solutions such as oxo-biodegradable plastic products. This has triggered the adoption of oxo-biodegradable technology, and is expected to drive the growth of the global market.

Although oxo-biodegradable plastic packaging is going through a phase of instability in the EU, it is nevertheless viewed as a key solution to curb the land and marine pollution problems. Many countries actively encourage oxo-biodegradable plastic packaging. For example, governments of various countries in the Middle East and Africa have mandated that the country will use only oxo-biodegradable plastics for packaging.

Asia-Pacific is expected to be an attractive region for oxo-biodegradable plastics, and the manufacturing and adoption of these products is high in developing countries in the region. The Asia-Pacific oxo-biodegradable plastic packaging market is projected to grow at a high value CAGR during the forecast period

Oxo-biodegradable garbage bags are expected to witness high demand in the coming years, and sales of this packaging type are expected to exceed US$360 Mn by end of 2026.

The pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors have also shown increased adoption of oxo-biodegradable plastic packaging in the recent past. This industry is expected to contribute significantly to the growth of the global market in the coming years”

Michael Stephen

Michael Stephen is a lawyer and was a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, where he served on the Environment Select Committee. When he left Parliament Symphony Environmental Technologies Plc. attracted his attention because of his interest in the environment. He is now Deputy Chairman of Symphony, which is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, and is the founder and Chairman of the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association.

Earlier Postings in this Column

All articles of Michael Stephen can be found here

Interview with Michael Stephen


The opinions expressed here by Michael Stephen and other columnists are their own, not those of Bioplasticsnews.com.

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