It seems video presentations are now the “in-thing” at most of the conferences I have attended this year. While some of them are really just company marketing, others are pretty interesting. Here is one from bioplastic company FKuR.
I am not an expert on life cycle analysis but I would think that for comparison on the production of petroleum-based plastics and its GHG emissions vs plant-based polymers production you have to account for the following factors:
1. Fertilizer, water and land required vs oil extraction/fracking/coal mining
2. Logistics, shipping, storage for feedstock and chemicals
3. Production emissions, water usage, energy usage
4. Logistics, shipping, storage of end-products
5. Packaging, use and disposal of end-products
These factors will be different from product-to-product and from region-to-region. There will always be a debate on whether bio-based materials and chemicals will really be sustainable, but in the long-run, the blog does believe that it is time to make some changes. These changes might not be perfect — just think about how the petrochemical industry went through in its entire history — but we can learn from past mistakes and there is always room for improvement.