The global bioplastics market was estimated at around 5.4 million tons in 2015 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 20% from 2016 to 2024. Bioplastics comprises of the class of plastics made from plant sources such as sugarcane, sweet potato, hemp oil, corn starch, and soybean oil rather than petroleum.
The use of bioplastics reduces the consumption of petroleum feedstock’s and is preferred by consumers across the world as it is organic. Growing environmental concerns and increasing awareness of the economic & ecological viability of using bioplastics are some of the key drivers that augment the growth of the bioplastics industry.
Improved technology and increased applications of bioplastics make them the ideal choice over conventional plastics. The market is broadly divided into biodegradable or non-biodegradable plastics. Bio-plastics are composed of starch, cellulose, biopolymers among others and it can breakdown in either aerobic or anaerobic environments.
The market according to product type is segmented into biodegradable and non-biodegradable bioplastics. Biodegradable plastic is further segmented into polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), biodegradable starch blends, biodegradable polyesters, and others (biodegradable cellulose esters). The non-biodegradable plastic segment is divided into Bio-PA, Bio-PET, Bio-PE, and others such as Bio-PC, Bio-TPE, Bio-PUR, and epoxies.
Bio-PET accounted for the largest market share regarding the value and is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. Starch blends and Bio-PLA account for a smaller market share and are projected to grow at a moderate CAGR from 2016 to 2024.
The market is segmented by application into bottle manufacturing, packaging, textiles, food service disposables, agriculture & horticulture, automobiles, building & construction, electronics, and consumer durables.
Packaging and bottle manufacturing applications are expected to hold a larger market share as compared to other applications during the forecast period. One of the notable factors propelling the growth of the bioplastic market in the packaging industry is growing demand for cups, bottles, and bags which can be disposed of efficiently. Other applications that hold a significant share in the market are food service disposables, consumer products, and automobiles.
The increasing focus of the government and regulatory authorities on environment conservation activities has led end-use industries and consumers to prefer organic and environment-friendly alternatives as compared to the petroleum-based products. Moreover, the decrease in petroleum reserves and increased cost of petrochemicals is expected encourage producers towards the manufacture and use of eco-friendly products which does not pose a threat to the environment.
The biodegradable bioplastics market is anticipated to grow at a high CAGR during the forecast period. This market is gaining increased responsiveness on account of its technical properties. Biodegradable bioplastics such as Styrofoam popcorn extruded trash plastic ware, and diapers are expected to drive the demand in this market.
Some of the factors forecasted to restrain the market growth are increased raw materials cost and dependence on petroleum-based bioplastics. Bioplastics are twice the price of the conventional plastics and so can serve as a hindrance to the overall market growth. Environmentalist argues that the manufacture of bioplastics may cause increased deforestation, energy use, and water consumption. The tradeoff between the biodegradable qualities of the plastic against other environmental metrics is often debatable.
The market has been geographically segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South and Central America, and the Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific and Europe cumulatively accounted for the largest market share of around 70% in 2015. It is expected that this trend will further continue over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific drives the demand for bioplastics on account of a vast number of plant and animal feedstocks. Europe has a limited number of crude oil reserves and petroleum feedstocks and thus this region is dependent on alternatives to conventional plastics. Europe was the largest market as of 2015 and is expected to grow at a considerable rate in the coming years due to increased adoption of bioplastics in Germany, Italy, and the UK.
Increasing eco-friendly initiatives taken up by global players are leading to massive investments in the bioplastics market. The Asia Pacific region is projected to have the largest share in the market over the forecast period on due to high availability of renewable feedstocks in this region.
Active environmental movements in Europe, Japan, and the U.S., raising concerns about waste disposal options, and growing apprehension of the global climate change are expected to create attractive opportunities enhancing the future growth of the bioplastic market.
Some of the leading market players are Novamont SPA, Metabolix Inc., BASF SE, Natureworks LLC, Corbion Purac, Cardia Bioplastics, Biome Technologies PLC, Toray Industries Inc., Evonik Industries, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, and Company. Others include BioApply Polymers, NatureWorks LLC, BioSphere Plastic, Dow Plastics, Cereplast, Solvay SA, Techno-Polymer Company Limited, and RTP Company.
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