Total global production of bio-based plastics will reach 1 million metric tons annually within a few years, up from about 700,000-800,000 metric tons today, according to Michael Carus, managing director of the Nova-Institut GmbH. Manufacturers are increasingly turning towards biomaterials not only to reduce carbon dioxide (current emission reductions average 20-30 percent), but also to save fossil resources, Carus said at the Biobased Based Materials Symposium, held June 21 in Wageningen. Carus estimates that bio-based polymers currently account for about 7.7 percent of the market — an estimate that’s higher than others’, but it includes some materials that are often overlooked. In 2010, bio-based polyethylene accounted for the largest share of the biopolymers market (28 percent of total production capacity). That was followed by starch blends (16 percent), PLA (15 percent), polyhydroxyalkanoate (12 percent) and bio-based polyesters (8 percent).