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Abstract

Abstract: Growing concerns over the impact of rising commodity prices on the global food system has led to a vigorous public debate over the use of plant materials as fuel alternatives. Despite this controversy, several bio-based technologies are being promoted as sustainable materials. This paper examines one such technology - Bio-plastics Polylactic Acid - that is being adopted at a rate that is higher than convention plastics, although energy efficient this technology is still not cost effective. High adoption is most likely driven by disincentives created by end-use packaging legislations and also shortterm concerns for the environment. Two important log-term concerns that are highlighted are divergence between technical and economic superiority and market failure. Thus the main drivers of adoption in the long-run are expected to be declining production cost, environmental legislation concerning waste disposal and composting, and consumer attitudes towards environmental impact.

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