On Nov. 15, 2013, Kingfa Sci & Tech Co. Ltd. (Kingfa)'s program, the Research, Development and Industrialization of Completely Biodegradable High-performance Packaging Material received approval from the Science and Information Technology Bureau of Luogang District, Guangzhou City. The program will receive a fund of approximately USD162,700 (RMB1 million), according to CCM’s Biomaterials China News issued in December.
The program focuses on the development of PBSA, a modified product of PBS. Previously, Kingfa expanded the production capacity from 5,000t/a in 2007 to 30,000t/a in 2011. The production cost also witnessed a sharp decrease because there is now continuous production, rather than discontinuous production of PBSA.
Kingfa's self-developed PBSA can be used in the packaging industry, since it is blended with starch, PLA, etc. for modification. The modified PBSA can achieve superior processability and mechanical properties.
Currently, the capacity and demand of biodegradable plastic in China is relatively small. The capacity of biodegradable plastic in China increased from 150,000t/a in 2009 to 301,000t/a in 2012, with a CAGR of about 26.2%, and the demand for biodegradable plastic rose from about 57,000 tonnes in 2009 to 156,000 tonnes in 2012 (estimated), with a CAGR of about 40.0%.
Besides, due to the small market of biodegradable plastic in China, biodegradable plastic enterprises export most of their products. Take Kingfa as an example, over 95% of its PBSA is exported (mainly to Europe, which accounts for about 80% of Kingfa's exports), which is processed into shopping bags and garbage bags. Meanwhile, less than 5% of the PBSA was sold domestically. The PBSA that is sold domestically is also mainly processed into shopping bags and garbage bags which are purchased by Jusco supermarket and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (both are foreign-funded enterprises).
Meanwhile, the biodegradable plastic industry is undergoing rapid development globally. The global total production capacity of biodegradable plastic increased from 356,000t/a in 2009 to 637,000t/a in 2012. The demand for biodegradable plastic has also increased, from 588,000 tonnes in 2009 to 1,141,000 tonnes in 2012.
The unbalanced development between the domestic biodegradable plastic market and the overseas biodegradable plastic market may change in the future, if the Chinese government provides stronger support for the biodegradable plastic industry.
Due to the high production cost and imperfect comprehensive performance, biodegradable plastic is very difficult for enterprises to promote and is still a small market (less than 1% of the total consumption of global plastics). Thus, governmental support plays a vital role in the development of biodegradable plastic.
The Chinese government is now enhancing its policy to support the development of biodegradable agricultural film, biodegradable disposable packaging materials, etc. This was revealed by an official of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China in the 2013 annual meeting of the Degradable Plastic Committee of China Plastics Processing Industry Association (on Oct. 19-20, 2013) in Zibo City, Shandong Province. For example, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Yunnan Province, etc. have been chosen as pilots to use biodegradable agricultural film, and more attention and support will be given to the plastic recycling industry.
Table of Contents of Biomaterials China News 1312:
China's PVA market remains depressed in 2013
China's environmentally friendly tableware industry faces troubles in 2013
Leading PA enterprises actively develop biological PA
M&G Chemicals to build straw-based EG plant in China
Kingfa's biodegradable plastic program receives a fund of USD162,700
Jiangsu Jinhe signs a framework agreement about its straw-based plastic
Hainan's 100% biodegradable plastic program enters into operation
China's biological SA industry has achieved some progress in 2013
China's castor oil price decreases continuously from May 2013
China's PLA import volume down while export volume up in Oct. 2013
China's import volume of fresh cassava increases sharply in Oct. 2013
China's import volume of castor oil and its derivatives increases in Oct. 2013
French companies starts bio-based butadiene program
Wuhan Huali's three products get the certifications of OK Biobased
BFA established by eight multinational companies
Battelle develops new mobile device to produce bio-oil from biomass materials
Sealed Air to produce mushroom-based packaging material at the end of 2013
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