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It is anything but easy to get new polymers on the market. Technology, market and sustainability all throw up challenges. This became clear from the presentations held during the second AMIBM symposium in the middle of May. Good staying power is essential.
Editorial office / Geleen

The new Center Court location at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen welcomed a gathering of representatives from academia, the business community and government, who had come together to discuss the above challenges. Yvonne van der Meer (Maastricht University) kicked off the meeting. Van der Meer, who will focus on sustainability in AMIBM, emphasised that this aspect is essential for a market breakthrough of biobased polymers and products. ‘If that is not the case, an important USP drops out. Granted, biobased products generally mean lower CO2 emissions and require less fossil energy sources during production. But there are also downsides, such as possible consequences for food prices, and land and water use. We must take these factors into consideration in a model which unites economic, ecological and social factors. The aim is to end up with a specified standard that will have international support.’ According to Van der Meer, quantifying sustainability still faces the necessary challenges. This is partly due to missing or incomplete data and because certain factors such as biodiversity are extremely difficult to measure.