European Bioplastics publishes data on land-use for bioplastics

09 April 2013

Feedstock required for bioplastics production accounts for only a minimal fraction of global agricultural area. The surface required to grow sufficient feedstock for today’s bioplastic production is less than 0.006% of the global agricultural area of 5 billion hectares. This is the key finding published by European Bioplastics.
Of the 13.4 billion hectares of global land surface, around 37% (5 billion hectares) are currently used for agriculture. This includes pastures (70%, approximately 3.5 billion hectares) and arable land (30%, approximately 1.4 billion hectare). These 30% of arable land are further divided into areas predominantly used to grow crops for food and feed (27%, approximately 1.29 billion hectares), as well as crops for materials (2%, approximately 100 million hectares, including the share used for bioplastics), and crops for biofuels (1%, approximately 55 million hectares).
European Bioplastics market data depicts production capacities of around 1.2 million tonnes in 2011. This translates to approximately 300,000 hectares of land-use to grow feedstock for bioplastics. In relation to the global agricultural area of 5 billion hectares, bioplastics make use of only 0.006% (Press Release European Bioplastics, 5 April 2013).