Plastics are frequently manufactured from oil, but they can also be manufactured from ethanol. With oil prices high, Dow is scaling up production of plastics from methanol derived from sugar cane in Brazil. By implication, if next gen biofuel algae that produce ethanol come online, those will also be suitable feedstocks for making plastics (and cheaper than sugar, if the algae have the promised yields of 5-6 W/m^2).
Hat tip to FuturePundit for the link.
Making plastic from sugar can be just as cheap as making it from petroleum, says Dow Chemical. The company plans to build a plant in Brazil that it says will be the world’s largest facility for making polymers from plants.