November 16, 2011

Dow Chemical on bioplastic Q&A

Here is a brief Q&A with Dow Chemical's Jeff Wooster, global sustainability leader, regarding the company's views on bioplastic. Some of these will be included in my bioplastic article that will be published next week Monday, November 21 on ICIS Chemical Business.

As a background, Dow has partnered with Japan chemical firm Mitsui this year on sugarcane ethanol and bio-polyethylene plastic in Brazil. Feel free to read ICB's latest article on the Dow/Mitsui JV.

Q: It seems like increasing branded companies are increasingly promoting the use of bioplastic, how are they benefiting from using bioplastics and has these already translated to increase in their demand/sales profit?

A: Brand owners are eager to provide consumers with packaging made from bio-based plastics because the use of those materials offers several potential benefits. Among those are reduced use of fossil fuels and reduced greenhouse gas emissions during the manufacturing of the packaging materials.

In each case those benefits need to be confirmed through the use of scientific methods such as the completion of a full life cycle assessment. If a particular bio-based material provides the right combination of performance attributes for a specific application then its use can provide meaningful environmental benefits as well.

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