The trend of Bio-Based Materials encompasses all materials produced exclusively from substances derived from traditional sustainable biomass, as well as modern bio-synthetic processes. This trend focuses on the beginning rather than the end of the product life cycle and so it includes both biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials.
With consumers and corporations paying increased attention to sustainability in recent years, and as expectations rise and demands increase, logistics organizations are seeking to eliminate from daily operations materials seen as unsustainable and to reduce waste. Bio-based materials are identified as carbon- and waste-reducing solutions that can be integrated into sustainability strategies. A wide range of potential applications for the use of bio-based materials exists in various supply chain segments, from building construction to packaging.
Some bio-based materials have been used in logistics for many years already, especially those derived from conventional biomass, the best example of such a valuable and long-standing bio-based solution is the wooden pallet. In addition, other bio-based materials have been introduced and tested recently, eg, bamboo and coconut. Meanwhile, next-generation solutions targeting certain qualities like strength, flexibility, and biodegradability using forefront bio-synthetic processes are being explored and can greatly expand use cases in supply chains over the next 5 to 7 years. While potentially impacting the sustainability of a supply chain through an environmental lens, bio-based materials are not anticipated to have a profound effect on day-to-day operations and so are expected to have a low impact in the logistics industry.