BIOTEC Opinion Piece: About Reducing the Fossil Fuel Addiction via Compostables

Remy Jongboom, Director Business Development & Product Innovation at BIOTEC recently wrote a fascinating opinion piece for bioplastics MAGAZINE, exploring how the history of material innovation has mapped major geo-political events worldwide.

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“Have we learnt nothing from the oil and energy crisis of 1973? Unpredicted changes in the price and availability of crude oil and raw materials (like plastics) have been the start of a strong recession that lasted for almost a decade. Which in turn lead to high unemployment rates and strong increases in prices. Yet the consumption of energy and plastics did not change. There seems therefore to be a direct connection between economic growth (GDP) and the consumption of plastics. Before 1973 there was a direct correlation between energy use and the development of the GDP in Europe. After 1973 there was a clear separation visible, with a growth of the GDP and a diversification in energy supply.”

Remy Jongboom, Director Business Development & Product Innovation at BIOTEC“What is missing to reach the necessary transition is a proper driving force. For companies that are using regular plastics, making a shift is expensive and risky. And as long as consumers believe that there are realistic environmental solutions in place – which help to reduce their guilty conscience – it will be difficult to achieve breakthrough changes. Yes, some brands and retailers have made enormous propaganda for their green solutions, but if you look at the relative numbers they were rather homeopathic in nature. And many positive initiatives have been stopped as soon as the actual target, creating brand value and a positive image, was achieved. Multibillion companies have marketing departments that can easily spend large amounts of money on communication to influence public opinion. That is their job. But as soon as the shareholder value comes under pressure and the competition is not following, environmental aspirations are thrown out the window again – quietly.”

Remy Jongboom, Director Business Development & Product Innovation, BIOTEC


BIOTEC is a gold partner of the Rethinking Materials Summit on May 4-5 and Stefan Barot, CEO of BIOTEC, will moderate the panel ‘Advances in Waste Valorisation: Opportunities and Potential for Organic Recycling’ alongside speakers from Suez, Novamont, CIC, OWS and BASF. View the full agenda.