Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Application (Packaging, Agriculture, Transport, Electronics, Textiles), By Region, Competitive Landscape, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025

  • Published Date: Dec, 2018
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2017
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-669-1
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2016
  • Number of Pages: 150

Industry Insights

The polylactic acid (PLA) market size was estimated at USD 950.7 million in 2017. There has been growing utilization of PLA in creams, shampoos, and body care products on account of its various properties, including enhancing skin lightening effects as well as accelerating exfoliation and cell renewal. This is projected to spur industry expansion over the next few years.

PLA is biodegradable in nature and is made from renewable sources. It exhibits properties that are comparable to or better than petroleum-based plastics. Its demand is anticipated to continue increasing over the forecast years due to inherent features such as flavor and odor barrier characteristics.

U.S. PLA market

Polylactic acid is biodegradable in nature and has characteristics similar to several thermoplastic polymers including polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene. Product consumption is anticipated to exhibit significant growth on account of its utilization in manufacturing plastic bottles and films and medical implants such as screws, plates, pins, and rods. These medical implants manufactured with PLA material completely break down within six months to two years inside a patient’s body, thereby eliminating the need for additional surgery for their removal.

Bioplastics can be divided into petroleum-based and bio-based plastics. The manufacturing process used for biodegradable plastics includes fermentation of canola oil and sugar to produce Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and polylactic acid, which is converted into biodegradable plastic. PLA is likely to be the largest product segment over the coming years as it is easy to process and possesses superior mechanical properties.

Growing consumption of packaged and processed foods such as frozen and ready-to-eat meals, snack foods, and cake mixes is projected to spur demand for flexible packaging solutions, thereby driving the packaging industry over the coming years. In addition, rising demand for flexible packaging in various countries including India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, and Germany is anticipated to fuel market expansion. Growing product consumption in shopping bags and disposable cutlery is also anticipated to stimulate market growth.

Companies operating in the market have also focused on establishing commercial facilities in Thailand owing to the country’s favorable regulatory scenario. In addition, Thailand has a high availability of carbohydrates and possesses significant regulatory support from the National Innovation Alliance (NIA), Ministry of Industry, and Board of Investment (BOI). The country also has a skilled workforce and suitable industrial infrastructure in the form of research institutes and supporting industries.

Rising consumer awareness with respect to need for recyclability, green packaging, and sustainability is likely to drive consumption of PLA over the next few years. Bioplastic packaging such as rigid packaging and loose fill packaging has witnessed considerable regulatory support owing to the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Application Insights

Packaging, agriculture, transport, electronics, and textiles are some of the key application areas for polylactic acid. Packaging is anticipated to be the largest segment, accounting for a volume-based share of 35.7% in the overall industry in 2017. PLA is widely used for manufacturing bottles, jars, containers, and labels, as well as for fresh food packaging.

PLA plastic bottles are durable, disposable, and possess properties such as transparency and gloss. It can be easily composted as compared to petroleum-based products and does not emit toxic gases on incineration. Thus, its demand in this application area is likely to remain strong over the next few years.

Global PLA market

Moreover, rising recyclability concerns are expected to significantly contribute to the global polylactic acid (PLA) market over the coming years since it is viewed as an environment-friendly packaging solution. PLA also compares well with existing plastics employed for packaging; it offers resistance to grease and moisture, has flavor and odor barrier properties, and is transparent and naturally glossy.

Industry penetration of the product in the electronics sector is relatively low, which can be primarily attributed to processing performance and stability issues. The application is mainly limited to development of PLA CD-ROM and cases, as well as for biodegradable SD cards.

The textile industry is one of the significant applications with high growth potential and market penetration. In addition to providing smooth fabrics, PLA offers excellent UV resistance and moisture, low smoke formation, and reduced flammability, which will propel its demand in the textile sector over the next few years.

Regional Insights

In terms of region, North America dominated the global market in 2017 and is anticipated to show the same trend over the foreseeable future. Presence of leading manufacturing companies in the region, including Danimer Scientific LLC, Nature Works LLC, Total Corbion PLA, Hitachi, Ltd., Ralik, and BASF SE, is anticipated to have a positive impact on the market.

There has been rising consumption of biodegradable polymers compared to petroleum-based alternatives as the former is eco-friendly. This will open new avenues for PLA manufacturers in future. In addition, growing composting infrastructure in U.S. is projected to promote industry development.

Asia Pacific is likely to exhibit the fastest growth in the global market over the coming years. Key companies manufacturing PLA in the region include Teijin Aramid B.V., Innovia Films, Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Corporation, Dow Chemicals, Biobent Polymers, and Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co. Ltd.

China is considered to be one of the largest textile producers in the market. The Government of China has established several beneficial initiatives for the textile sector, such as the “Going Out” strategy, in its 12th five-year plan and offers subsidies to textile manufacturers. This scenario is anticipated to boost domestic consumption of PLA in the textile industry over the next few years.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Share Insights

The global market is projected to exhibit intense competition over the coming years as a result of rising focus on product enhancement, increasing production capacities, and high investment in research and development activities. For instance, Corbion formed a 50/50 joint venture with Total in 2016 to manufacture and market polylactic acid.

Companies such as Synbra Technology BV are undertaking various initiatives such as product accreditation and strengthening product length to improve its performance over the coming years. For instance, in October 2017, Synbra Technology BV launched fully biodegradable cups manufactured from the company’s product BioFoam particle foam. Patented as BioFoam Monolock, these cups are boiling water resistant and leak-proof in nature.

The global market is highly consolidated in nature and is characterized by low entry barriers for new industry aspirants. Moreover, companies are undertaking various strategic initiatives including increasing their product portfolio, expanding production capacity, and investing heavily on R & D initiatives in order to gain further access to global and regional markets.

Some of the key companies present in the industry are BASF SE, Danimer Scientific, Futerro, NatureWorks LLC, Synbra Technology BV, Hitachi Ltd., Sulzer Ltd., Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co., Ltd., Thyssenkrupp AG, and Teijin Ltd.

Report Scope



Base year for estimation


Actual estimates/Historical data

2014 - 2016

Forecast period

2018 - 2025

Market representation

Volume in Kilo Tons, Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2018 to 2025

Regional scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, MEA

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

Country Scope

U.S., Canada, Mexico, U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global polylactic acid (PLA) market report on the basis of application and region:

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Packaging

    • Agriculture

    • Transport

    • Electronics

    • Textiles

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Netherlands

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • Indonesia

      • Malaysia

      • Philippines

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

Key questions answered by the report
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