13. Renewable Raw Materials and Feedstock for Bioplastics

  1. Stephan Kabasci
  1. Achim Raschka,
  2. Michael Carus and
  3. Stephan Piotrowski

Published Online: 4 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118676646.ch13

Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications

Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications

How to Cite

Raschka, A., Carus, M. and Piotrowski, S. (2013) Renewable Raw Materials and Feedstock for Bioplastics, in Bio-Based Plastics: Materials and Applications (ed S. Kabasci), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118676646.ch13

Editor Information

  1. Fraunhofer-Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT, Germany

Author Information

  1. nova-Institut GmbH, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 13 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119994008

Online ISBN: 9781118676646



  • feedstock availability;
  • feedstock prizes;
  • food competition;
  • resources;
  • yield


Today bio-based plastics are mainly based on sugar, starch, vegetable oil and natural rubber, the so-called first-generation feedstock, and there are options of using lignocellulose feedstock by transforming it into fermentable sugars for biopolymer production. Industrial biotechnology as a whole leads to ongoing public, political and industrial debate about the competition between food, feed and industrial markets for agricultural raw materials with wide-reaching implications that leads to discussions and problems. But ‘no food crops for industry’ can lead to a misallocation of agriculture resources.

Crops for bio-based plastics were grown on 290 000 hectares (0.02 % of global crop land) in 2010 and will be grown on 684 000 hectares (0.05 %) in 2015. To substitute all 250 million tonnes of plastics in the world with bio-based plastics will demand 100 million hectares or 7% of the global arable land. Moreover, modern agricultural processing can increase productivity up to ten times compared to traditional farming. In principle, there are sufficient and sustainable biomass resources available for food, animal feed, bioenergy and industrial material use, including bio-based plastics but we should change and optimize biomass allocation and therefore the political framework to use land and feedstock the most sustainable way.