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Bioplastics take center stage.
Up to now, the number-one biopolymer in commercial use, polylactic acid or PLA, has been available mainly from one supplier and in a limited range of varieties. But there appear to be a number of new sources waiting in the wings, who are preparing a profusion of new PLA variants—copolymers, alloys, “engineering” PLA and even “do-it-yourself” PLA.
Biogeneral Inc. in San Diego and Dunn Industries Inc., Manchester, N.H., appear to be tied for making the first commercial bioabsorbable medical tubing.
Major chemical companies are investing big bucks in new plants and technologies to produce plastics from annually renewable sources, not from petrochemicals.
Plastics made from renewable carbon chains, not fossil carbon from oil or gas, are suddenly a solid commercial reality. The draw isn’t just “green” marketing, but the “green” of stable prices not linked to petrochemicals.