The BBIA was founded in 2015 with seven original members. Today, six years later, we are proud to announce that though still a small organisation, the BBIA’s membership has grown to 31. These members represent the whole value chain for the production, transformation and distribution of bio-based and biodegradable materials in the UK.

Several large industrial biopolymer producers were among the founders, including BASF, BIOTEC and Novamont, NatureWorks and FKUR. These large producers have now been joined by a growing number of UK producers of biopolymers: Ingevity, an American owned company manufacturing in Cheshire, Floreon of Yorkshire and Biome Biotechnologies of Hampshire. PJCHEM of China also produces biopolymers.

Producers converting biopolymers into packaging or catering products include Futamara in Cumbria, Parkside Packaging in Yorkshire, TIPA of Israel, Fabbri Group of Italy, Planglow in Bristol, Vegware in Scotland, KCC of Hampshire, Promateris of Romania, Eco-Craft of Lancashire and BioPak, who have Australian roots.

Members also make other biobased products – Staffordshire’s FUCHS Lubricants are world-leading producers of biobased and biodegradable lubricants, whilst nearby Woolcool employ wool as an innovative insulation material for packaging; in Scotland, Oceanium is working to make food and nutrition products and marine-safe, home compostable bio-packaging from seaweed, and recent new members Mama Bamboo produce disposable products for children using bamboo as a feedstock.

The innovative use of graphene in bio-based materials is a new frontier of research being led by 2-DTech of Cheltenham, and the Scottish IBioIC represents the forefront of industrial biotechnology research.

The independent certification company TÜV Austria has joined in 2021 and is seeing a boom in certification requests for these materials, whilst REA (the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology), represents the UK compost and AD industries within BBIA, as well as providing certification through its affiliate REAL Schemes.

Other members include distribution companies The Compost Bag Company, Cromwell Polythene, and Solutions 4 Plastic, all commercialising compostable films in the UK, and the drinks consultancy David Berryman.

Andy Sweetman, Chair of the BBIA since it was founded in 2015, said: “I am delighted to see our association grow and contribute to the debate in the UK on how biobased materials can help our transformation to a low carbon economy and support the drive towards Net Zero, using materials that are benign to the environment.

“I am particularly pleased to see exciting innovation in new materials, products and know-how and look forward to seeing a UK economy becoming more receptive to the benefits they offer, such as circularity and improved soil regeneration.

“Currently, we are lagging behind several countries in the adoption and production of innovative biobased and biodegradable products. We believe that upcoming reforms in the ways we manage our resources can be significant drivers for the use of biobased and biodegradable products and make the UK a production hub for them”.