What Does Steve Davies Of Natureworks Foresee For The Bioplastics Industry

posted in: News | 0

Intertech Pira

The Biopolymers Symposium is pleased to have NatureWorks – a company formed with the unique mission of bringing to market a broad family of performance plastics and fibers created from plants, not oil – involved in this year’s conference. Marc Verbruggen, CEO of NatureWorks will be presenting on Bioplastics: The State of The Industry & The Market in the Keynote Executive Session. Steve Davies, who leads communications & public affairs globally for NatureWorks LLC, is part of this year’s Symposium advisory board and has been a key part in shaping the program.

Steve shared his thoughts with us about Ingeo, trends in the bioplastics industry and what he’s looking forward to at this year’s conference.

Ingeo was introduced nearly a decade ago. What has been your biggest challenge since then? How did you overcome it?

An enormous challenge was to develop a critical mass in the supply chain. NatureWorks is a resin supplier and to be successful we needed supply chain partners to convert Ingeo into a world-class range of resin and fiber based products. The supply chain needed to feel comfortable making investments in both expertise and in value adding products such as additives and blends that extend the range of applications.

Essential to success has been our culture of partnership with the entire supply chain – from resin to retail. We also made careful business decisions that assured the supply chain that bioplastics were here for the long run, for example, our decision to invest in a world-class production scale, and focusing first on being price competitive in high-volume applications. The growth we’re experiencing is a testament to our channel efforts.

What are the trends that you see in the bioplastics industry in the next 5 to 10 years?

While still nascent, the industry will start to mature. Rising petroleum prices and the trend toward reducing carbon footprint will drive that growth. The bioplastics industry will increase its technical expertise so that not only will there be new bioresins on the market, there will also be a host of different renewable materials used for conversion. The industry will be on a strong financial footing, and bioplastics will no longer be thought of as an exotic or a niche resin. It will be a mainstay, with biobased content becoming the expectation rather than the exception. For Ingeo specifically, we expect the trend of adoption in markets which include injection molding/durable products, fibers & nonwovens, and flexible films to only accelerate.

You’ve been a supporter of the Biopolymers Symposium for some time now. What are you most looking forward to at our 2011 conference?

This is an exciting industry from the standpoint of accelerating expertise and applications. The opportunity to discuss matters from technical to business with attendees is extremely valuable, and we look forward to it.

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed
without profit for research and educational purposes.