The market is segmented by Type (Starch-based Plastics, Polylactic Acid, Polyhydroxy Alkanoates, Polyesters, and Cellulose Derivatives), End-user Industry (Agriculture, Textile, Consumer Goods, Packaging, Healthcare, and Other End-user Industries), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of World)
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Scope of the Report
Key Market Trends
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2016 - 2026
Fastest Growing Market:
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The market for bio-degradable polymers is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 20% during the forecast period. Bio-degradable polymers are advantageous over non-bio-degradable polymers as they are less toxic, have lesser side effects, help to improve patient compliance, and maintains the stabilization of the drug.
A major factor driving the market studied is the favorable government policies which promote bio-plastics. Additionally, tremendous usage in flexible packaging is likely to favor the market growth.
On the flipside, the higher price of bio-degradable polymers compared to petroleum-based polymers and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak is likely to hamper the market growth.
Bio-degradable plastics are increasingly finding usage in niche applications, such as in shale gas industry (where they are used during hydro-fracking), hygiene products, and in fishing gears, among other applications, these are projected to act as an opportunity for the market in future.
Scope of the Report
The bio-degradable polymers market report includes:
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
Polyhydroxy Alkanoates (PHA)
Polyesters (PBS, PBAT, and PCL)
Consumer Goods (Consumer Electronics)
Other End-user Industries
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of Europe
Rest of the World
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Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from the Packaging Industry
Bio-degradable polymers are used in both flexible and rigid packaging applications. Bio-degradable polymers are used for wrapping organic food, as well as for premium and branded products with particular requirements. In 2019, global production capacities of bioplastics (of which bio-degradable polymers accounted for around 40% of the market) amounted to about 2.11 million tons, with almost 50% of the volume destined for the packaging market – the biggest market segment within the bioplastics industry.
In rigid packaging applications, bio-degradable polymers are used in cosmetics packaging of creams and lipsticks, as well as beverage bottles and many more. PLA is widely used in rigid packaging applications.
Biodegradability is an important component of food packaging for perishables. Flexible packaging solutions, such as films and trays, are particularly suitable for fresh produce, such as fruit and vegetables, as they enable longer shelf life.
Overall, the growing packaging industry is expected to drive the market demand of bio-degradable polymers through 2025.
The consumption of bio-degradable polymers in making bottles and containers is increasing across the world. The production of bottles and containers is more in China since it is the manufacturing hub for major products.
In Europe and North America, the consumption of bio-degradable polymers is increasing, owing to stringent regulations by the government to ban the usage of petroleum-based plastics, coupled with the increasing usage of bio-degradable polymers in rigid packaging for bottles in these regions.
Moreover, the slowing down of R&D activities due to the economic slowdown and lockdowns due to COVID 19 outbreak is expected to have a negative impact on the growth of the packaging industry in the short term, and thereby have an adverse effect on the market studied.
The growth in the packaging industry in developing regions, such as Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East, is expected to increase over latter part of the forecast period, due to the improving food packaging standards of various food and safety organizations in these regions, which is expected to propel the growth of the bio-degradable polymers market at a latter stage of the forecast period.
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China to Dominate the Asia-Pacific Market
In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest economy, in terms of GDP. The country witnessed about 6.1% growth in its GDP during 2019, even after the trade disturbance caused due to its trade war with the United States.
Although China was the first country affected by the COVID-19 and its related lockdown, it was the first country to come out of lockdown, but the country has been witnessing recurring cases of coronavirus, leading to further lockdowns. With this, manufacturing seems to be heavily impacted and is expected to continue with slow growth during 2020. Moreover, a major chunk of the Chinese economy is linked to foreign exports, where demand is still low due to lockdowns being practiced in various countries due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This has been negatively affecting the Chinese industry in 2020.
Chinese plastics manufacturers that account for almost 29% of the global plastic production are focusing on the increased use of corn, sugar, and other crops to develop biodegradable plastics as concerns about environment pollution have encouraged directives from Beijing and the prospects of a ban on conventional plastics- single-use non-biodegradable plastics, such as cutlery, plastic bags, and packaging.
China’s production of polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable plastic raw material, is expected to rise rapidly over the forecast period, owing to rising textile, packaging, and electronics sectors.
The Chinese packaging market is recording a CAGR of almost 6.79%, as compared with the global CAGR of 3.1%. This growth in the packaging industry is mainly driven by the dynamic economic development, accelerating urbanization, as well as improvement in people’s quality of life. The consumers are shifting toward more safe, convenient, unique, and eco-friendly packaging.
The consumers take more interest in the materials used for packaging and the impact on their health and environment. Therefore, companies are focusing on transforming biodegradable plastics packaging.
For instance, NatureWorks LLC is planning to showcase a new generation of tea and coffee bags made of Ingeo PLA-based biopolymer that are compostable in nature.
Plastic film mulching in the Chinese agriculture industry has played a vital role, owing to its effects on soil warming, moisture conservation, and weed control. Standards for using plastic films have been improved, and appropriate techniques are being developed for multipurpose plastic film, mechanization of residue recycling technology and for the replacement of polythene with biodegradable polymer films.
This biodegradable plastic film mulching technology has helped in increasing 20-50% of grain crop yields and plays a key role in ensuring the supply of agriculture goods in the country.
Thus, the market for biodegradable polymers in China is expected to experience growth during the forecast period owing to such trends in the end-user industries.
However, the market is likely to remain affected during 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreak impact on the domestic economic & industrial activities and trade with other countries. The market recovery is thus, expected from 2021 if another major wave of COVID-19 is not experienced in the global economy.
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The global market for biodegradable polymers is partly consolidated, with a chunk of the market in the hands of the market leader in each product segment. For instance, NatureWorks LLC is the market leader in polylactic acid (PLA) products and Novamont S.p.A is the leading manufacturer of starch-based biodegradable polymers. Other key players in the market include Novamont SpA, BASF SE, Total Corbion PLA bv, and Rodenburg Biopolymers, among others.