Jacob Barron 
Tel: 202-974-5249  | JBarron@plasticsindustry.org

July 23, 2015

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized the Bioplastics Division of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association recently for its contributions to their report, titled “An Economic Impact Analysis of the U.S. Biobased Products Industry: A Report to the Congress of the United States of America.” The Bioplastics Division contributed to the report by providing interviews with the researchers as well as a copy of the Division’s 2012 Bioplastics Industry Overview Guide.

“Since it was created in 2007, the SPI Bioplastics Division has been a key resource for government officials and industry leaders on the growing sector of biobased and biodegradable plastic products. Their contributions to USDA’s most recent economic report build on what’s already a rich tradition of collaboration for the Bioplastics Division,” said SPI President and CEO William R. Carteaux. “Bioplastics are one of the fastest growing fields in the plastics industry. With 20-30 percent annual growth in the sector, bioplastics represent a tremendous opportunity for companies, and especially brand owners, to explore how they can find new applications for biodegradable or compostable plastic materials.”

“Bioplastics specifically provide an outsized benefit to the American economy. For every dollar generated by the bioplastics sector, an additional $3.64 is generated elsewhere in the supply chain. This is an impressive number that can grow with smart investments in the bioplastics sector by lawmakers and businesses alike,” said Bioplastics Division Chairman Keith Edwards of BASF. “The SPI Bioplastics Division is proud of the help it was able to provide the USDA for this comprehensive report on the current state of the biobased products market. We look forward to working with the USDA and with Congress to implement the recommendations contained within the report to help foster even stronger growth in the already-booming bioeconomy.”

In addition to providing an economic benefit throughout the supply chain, the USDA report found that bioplastic bottles and packaging contributed 4,000 jobs and $410 million to the U.S. economy in 2013. The report also found that the Type Social Account Matrix (Type SAM) employment multiplier for the bioplastic bottles and packaging sector was 3.25, meaning that one job created specifically within the bioplastics sector results in another 3.25 jobs being created elsewhere in the supply chain.

The report made specific recommendations for how lawmakers can support the continued growth of the U.S. biobased products industrial sector, including:

  • Continuing to support the USDA BioPreferred program and the mandatory federal purchasing initiative.
  • Incentivizing renewable/green chemistry in reform legislation.
  • Supporting the industry in the form of production credits, tax incentives and specific investment incentives to reduce the cost of capital that drives innovation, and
  • Ensuring that biogenic carbon is treated as “carbon neutral” in EPA’s Carbon Accounting Framework.

The full USDA report can be found here. To learn more about the SPI Bioplastics Division, click here.

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Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at www.plasticsindustry.org and www.inthehopper.org.

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."