The biodegradable plastics market is expected to reach USD 20.9 billion by 2028, reflecting a remarkable CAGR of 21.3% from USD 7.9 billion in 2023. This substantial growth is being driven by a combination of environmental concerns, regulatory actions, evolving consumer preferences, corporate sustainability initiatives, and advancements in biodegradable plastics technology.
Key Factors Driving Market Growth
- Environmental concerns: The growing awareness of the environmental impact of plastic waste is a major driver of the biodegradable plastics market. Conventional plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, and they often end up in landfills or waterways, where they can harm wildlife and pollute the environment. Biodegradable plastics, on the other hand, can break down into natural materials in a matter of months or years, reducing their environmental impact.
- Regulatory actions: Governments around the world are taking action to reduce the use of conventional plastics. In Europe, for example, the Single-Use Plastics Directive has banned the use of certain single-use plastic items, such as plastic straws and cotton buds. This is driving demand for biodegradable alternatives.
- Evolving consumer preferences: Consumers are increasingly demanding more sustainable products, and they are willing to pay a premium for them. This is creating a strong market opportunity for biodegradable plastics.
- Corporate sustainability initiatives: Many companies are setting ambitious sustainability goals, and they are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. One way to do this is to use biodegradable plastics in their packaging and products.
- Advancements in biodegradable plastics technology: Researchers are constantly developing new and improved biodegradable plastics. These new materials are often more versatile, durable, and affordable than traditional biodegradable plastics.
Fastest-Growing Segment: Packaging
The fastest-growing segment within the biodegradable plastics market is packaging. This surge in demand is attributed to heightened environmental regulations and shifts in consumer lifestyles. The durability and impermeability of biodegradable plastics to water have encouraged their usage in packaging applications. Notably, the food and beverage industry is progressively transitioning to biodegradable plastics to address environmental and economic concerns. Stringent governmental regulations, particularly in Europe and North America, are compelling industries to minimize their carbon footprint, driving up demand for bio-based products.
PLA Expected to Dominate Market
In terms of types of biodegradable plastics, PLA (Polylactic Acid) is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. PLA is a biodegradable plastic that has gained significant attention and popularity due to its versatility in applications, including packaging materials, disposable cutlery, food containers, films, fibers, and 3D printing filaments. Its advantageous characteristics, such as clarity, strength, and printability, make PLA a promising alternative to conventional plastics.
Asia Pacific: Key Market for Production
Regionally, Asia Pacific is identified as a key market for the production of biodegradable plastics. The region’s attractiveness to biodegradable plastic manufacturers is attributed to the availability of low-cost raw materials and labor, coupled with a growing awareness among the population. Factors like rising population, urbanization, and industrialization are anticipated to drive the biodegradable plastic market in Asia Pacific.
While the biodegradable plastics market presents significant opportunities, challenges persist. These include performance issues, the expensive and complex production process, and limited regulations related to biodegradable plastics in emerging economies.
Report Provides Comprehensive Analysis
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the market dynamics, including drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges. It delves into technological aspects such as enzymatic recycling and explores case studies, including the adoption of PBAT resin for bag production and the development of Polyhydroxyalkanoates by Danimer Scientific.
Market Players Profiled
The market players profiled in the report include Agrana, Basf SE, Bio-On, Bio-Fed, Biome Bioplastics, Carbiolice, Danimer Scientific, Eastman Chemical Company, Fkur Kunststoff GmbH, Futerro, Green Dot Bioplastics, Ingevity, Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation, Natureworks LLC, Novamont, Plantic Technologies, Ptt Mcc Biochem, Sphere, Succinity, Synbra Technology, Tianan Biologic Materials, Totalenergies Corbion, Toray Industries, Yield 10 Bioscience, and Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials.
Europe: High Growth Potential
As the biodegradable plastics market continues to evolve, it presents attractive opportunities for players, particularly in Europe, which is expected to witness high growth in this sector.
Eco-Friendly Considerations and News
The growing demand for biodegradable plastics is driven not only by environmental concerns but also by the increasing popularity of eco-friendly products and lifestyles. Consumers are becoming more aware of the negative impact of conventional plastics on the environment and are looking for alternatives that are more sustainable. This is creating a strong market opportunity for biodegradable plastics.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, there are a number of other eco-friendly considerations that are driving the biodegradable plastics market. These include:
- The development of new and more sustainable sources of raw materials for biodegradable plastics, such as agricultural waste and algae.
- The advancement of biodegradable plastics recycling technologies.
- The increasing popularity of composting, which can break down biodegradable plastics into nutrient-rich soil amendments.
As a result of these factors, the biodegradable plastics market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. This growth will be driven by a combination of increased demand from consumers, businesses, and governments, as well as continued innovation in biodegradable plastics technology.
Here are some recent news stories about biodegradable plastics:
- New biodegradable plastic made from food waste (January 2023) Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new type of biodegradable plastic made from food waste. The plastic is made from a polymer called polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), which is produced by bacteria that feed on food waste. The new plastic is biodegradable in both freshwater and marine environments, and it could be used to make a variety of products, such as packaging, disposable utensils, and clothing.
- Cargill to invest in production of biodegradable plastic (February 2023) Cargill, a global food and agriculture company, has announced that it will invest in the production of biodegradable plastic. The company is partnering with NatureWorks, a leading producer of polylactic acid (PLA), to build a new PLA production facility in the United States. The new facility is expected to be operational in 2025 and will produce up to 100,000 tons of PLA per year.
- EU bans single-use plastics (July 2023) The European Union has banned the use of certain single-use plastic items, such as plastic straws, cotton buds, and plastic plates. The ban is part of the EU’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution. Biodegradable plastics are one of the alternatives to conventional plastics that are being considered by businesses and consumers.
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