BBIA appoints board members

BBIA appoints board members

The soon-to-be-launched Biobased and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA) has announced that it has appointed Andy Sweetman as Chairman and chosen six other board members from across the bioindustry. 

The trade body, which is expected to officially launch ‘shortly after the 2015 general election’, seeks to represent the ‘circular bioeconomy sector’ in the UK, which the group says is ‘currently under-represented in public and political debates’.

It announced today (29 April), that it has elected David Newman, President of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), as its Managing Director, and appointed seven individuals from the bioindustry to its board. 

These are:

Chairman: Andy Sweetman, Marketing Manager, Packaging & Sustainability at cellulose-based film producer Innovia Films;

Deputy Chairman: Jens Hamprecht, Head of Global Business Management at chemical company BASF;

Technical Director: John Williams, ‎Chief Technical Officer at financial company Sinvestec;

Other board members: Tony Breton, UK Market Developer for bioplastic company Novamont; Nina Skorupska, Renewable Energy Association’s Managing Director; Harold Naylor, Biobag UK’s Director; and Peter Brunk, bioplastic company BIOTEC’s Managing Director for Operations.

The board will oversee the work of the BBIA, alongside Managing Director David Newman.

This work will include:

  • promoting the production and use of bio-based and biodegradable materials;
  • encouraging investment opportunities in the UK bioeconomy;
  • developing scientific analysis of environmental and economic impacts of the bioeconomy;
  • intervening on matters related to waste management, soil, air and water quality; and
  • defining nationally and internationally recognised standards and certification programmes for the bioeconomy.

The trade body has said it will present its first report, which will focus on the potential financial and employment benefits of using compostable materials in the UK, in ‘early summer’. It is hoped that this report will work as a ‘roadmap’ for the new government.

Ecospray becomes new member

As well as the announcement of the board, the BBIA has also revealed that biobased insecticides producer Ecospray has joined the group as a member. Ecospray has become the tenth company to join the association, following founding members BASF, Biobag UK, BIOTEC, EuroPackaging, Fuchs, Innovia, Novamont, the Renewable Energy Association, and Sinvestec.

BBIA Chairman Andy Sweetman (pictured, right) commented: “With this outstanding team in place and growing membership, BBIA is well positioned to continue its growth and move to the next level in representing the broader interests of the circular bioeconomy in the UK’s public and political debate.”

The BBIA is open to ‘anybody who is involved in speciality chemicals and commodity chemicals, composites, plastics, polymers, or even construction materials’.

Bioeconomy background

According to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee’s report ‘Waste or resource? Stimulating a bioeconomy’, the potential economic market value of the bioeconomy in the UK is around £100 billion. The bioeconomy is defined as ‘the use of biological feedstocks to generate economic outputs in the form of energy, materials or chemicals’, and it is estimated that around £6 billion of the £60 billion UK chemical industry could be replaced with renewable biochemicals (such as those produced from waste materials) if the bioeconomy were further developed.

Other potential benefits of developing a bioeconomy include: boosting sustainable practices in business; creating jobs; making use of brownfield sites (through facility construction); and enabling the UK to export new products that are currently imported (for example, compostable packaging).

However, the committee concluded that although there are ‘promising signs that a waste-based bioeconomy could deliver substantial economic returns and support a considerable number of jobs… there is clearly uncertainty in these predictions’. Consequently, it argued that ‘government, industry and academia should take steps to further characterise this opportunity and ensure its full potential is realised’.

Find out more about how the BBIA was set up.

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