Legislators and companies are moving away from Bisphenol A (BPA) in products where consumer criticism is mounting. Nevertheless, a market research firm forecasts growth of BPA production in other areas.
From spring 2011 onwards, there will be a Europe-wide ban of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, and big food companies are searching for and implementing alternative substances in so-called food contact materials.
However, bottles and packaging only makes up 3 percent of the use of BPA in polycarbonate plastics.
BPA is produced in high volumes, with 4.9 million tonnes produced in 2008 according to PlasticsEurope. About two thirds of this BPA is used in polycarbonate plastics, and about one third in epoxy resins.
Market research firm The Market Publisher forecasts a growth in BPA production, predicting that consumption for "epoxy resins used in epoxy surface coatings, bonding and adhesives, electrical/electronic laminates and composites" will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent over the next five years.
Nevertheless, it has yet to be seen if this prediction will materialise, or if instead Bisphenol A sales will begin decreasing due to increased consumer awareness, legislative measures and voluntary action by manufacturers of consumer products.
Where are polycarbonate plastics used?
- Optical Media (32 percent)
- Electronics (23 percent)
- Blends (15 percent)
- Construction (13 percent)
- Automotive (9 percent)
- Bottles & Packaging (3 percent)
- Medical Healthcare (3 percent)
- Others (2 percent)
Who are the biggest producers of BPA?
- LG Chem
- Mitsubishi Chemical
- Mitsui Chemical
- Dow Chemical
(Source: The Market Publisher)