DuPont Leaders Tout Biopolymers and Technology for
Improved Sustainability

Comments Delivered at International Bio Symposium  

WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 7, 2015 – Following the release of a Markets and Markets report that predicts biopolymers to see double-digit growth over the next five years, two DuPont business leaders will take the stage Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 at The European Biopolymer Summit 2015 to talk about high-performance materials solutions in packaging, automotive and other consumer markets. 

“Biopolymers have quietly infiltrated many markets based on the combination of environmental and performance benefits,” said Rick Bell, development manager for DuPont Performance Polymers. “That combination will continue to drive higher-value consumer products. We want to familiarize people with the options and challenge them to think differently about how to get the greatest performance from the materials they have to work with.”

Rick Bell, development manager for DuPont Performance Polymers
DENSO rradiator end tank

The report, Global Renewables Chemicals Market 2015-2020, includes alcohols, platform chemicals and biopolymers, forecasting that biopolymers will see double-digit growth over the next five years due to growing demand for eco-friendly products.

DuPont currently offers the industry’s widest range of bio-based, engineering grade polymers with a variety of performance attributes that range from strong and stiff to flexible. These materials are used in vehicle components, residential carpets, sporting goods and cellphones. Many of the new products have earned innovation and sustainability awards.

“We’re converting petro-based plastics ingredients to renewables where it's technically feasible and cost-effective and we’re developing entirely new polymers – with completely different performance characteristics – based on these bio-based ingredients,” Bell said. “For us to bring the science to market, though, the materials must offer better performance and better cost position than the materials they would replace.”  

In cost-driven packaging solutions, Karlheinz Hausmann, sustainability technology leader of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, echoed the need for biopolymers to perform at least as well as their petroleum-based equivalents or bring new, differentiated performance profiles. “When you consider packaging from a holistic sustainability aspect, recycling and lightweighting are increasingly important and need to be compatible with the chosen biopolymer approach,” he said. “As in all industries, the brand owners need to recognize and support the value proposition of biopolymers in context with sustainability goals for respective applications.”

The two-day European Biopolymer Summit conference in London will bring together key industry experts to discuss the latest strategies and methods to overcome current challenges and maximize the opportunities.  

Hausmann will join packaging and environmental experts from Nestle and consulting firm Smithers Pira to discuss brand and retailer perspectives on the growing role of bioplastics in products and packaging on Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. GMT.

Bell will join sustainability and commercial leaders from Sabic, Innovia Films and BioAmber to discuss new commercial developments and the business case for renewably sourced materials on Dec. 10 at 8:50 a.m. GMT.