Global demand for biodegradable and bio-based plastics will more than triple to over one million metric tons in 2015, valued at $2.9 billion. Bioplastics have moved past the initial phase of market introduction and are now experiencing robust increases in demand in virtually all parts of the world. Gains are being fueled by a number of factors, including consumer preferences for environmentally sustainable materials, improved performance of bioplastic resins with respect to traditional plastics, and the introduction of commodity plastics produced from bio-based sources.
Ultimately, however, price considerations will be the main driver of bioplastic market success, and rising petroleum costs may allow some bioplastic resins to achieve price parity with conventional plastics by the end of the decade. Starch-based resins, PLA to pace biodegradables Biodegradable plastics accounted for 90 percent of the world bioplastics market in 2010. Excellent growth is forecast for the two leading biodegradable plastics, starch-based resins and polylactic acid (PLA), both of which will more than double in demand through 2015. More rapid growth is expected for PLA, which will benefit from advancements in compounding polymerization technology, as well as its relatively low cost compared to other bioplastics. Fastest gains for biodegradable plastics, however, will be seen for polyhydroxy-alkanoate (PHA) resins, which are just beginning to enter the commercial market.
Bio-based polyethylene to offer best opportunities
Despite the strong advances for biodegradable resins, non-biodegradable biobased resins will be the primary driver of bioplastics demand through 2015 and beyond. Gains will be stimulated by the availability of commercial quantities of bio-based polyethylene from Braskem’s 200,000 metric ton per year plant in Brazil, which opened in late 2010. Two other bio-based polyethylene plants, as well as bio-based polypropylene and PVC facilities, are expected to open around 2015. Additionally, industrial production of fully bio-based PET is forecast to become a reality by the end of the decade.
Asia/Pacific region to be fastest-growing market
Brazil to become leading producer Western Europe was the leading consumer of bioplastics in 2010, as the region’s environmentally conscious consumers have been the quickest to accept biobased and biodegradable products. Starch-based resins used in biodegradable bags are particularly popular in the region. North America was another major market for bioplastics in 2010, with PLA accounting for the majority of demand. However, the fastest gains in bioplastics demand through 2015 will be seen for the Asia/Pacific region, driven by robust growth in Japan and China.Currently, world bioplastics production is heavily concentrated in the US and Western Europe. This will change dramatically by 2015, as production of bio-based polyethylene ramps up in Brazil, making the country the world’s leading producer of bioplastics. Furthermore, China and Thailand plan to open over 100,000 metric tons of new bioplastics capacity by 2020, making these countries major players in the global market.
This new Freedonia industry study, World Bioplastics, is priced at $6100. It presents historical demand data (2000, 2005, 2010) and forecasts for 2015 and 2020 by product, market, world region and for 16 major countries. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles 38 industry competitors.
Profiles 38 global players such as Arkema, NatureWorks, Metabolix, BASF, Innovia Films, Novamont and Rodenburg Biopolymer
Renewable Carbon News – Daily Newsletter
Subscribe to our daily email newsletter – the world's leading newsletter on renewable materials and chemicals