Bio-Plastics Market 2014 to 2020

Bio-Plastics Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2014 to 2020

Bioplastics are those plastic materials that are manufactured by using natural resources. There are two categories of these plastics available in the market — biodegrable bioplastics and non-biodegradable bioplastics. The report covers both the categories for market study.

On the basis of material type, the report covers market analysis of bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (Bio-PET), bio-based polyethylene (Bio-PE), bio-based polyamides (Bio-PA), bio-based poly lactic acid and its blends, starch blends and polyhydroxyalkanoate. Applications of bioplastics covered in the report includes bottle manufacturing, other packaging, food service disposables, agriculture/horticulture, consumer products and automotive applications.

The global bioplastics market is projected to grow approximately six times its value from US$ 7.5 billion in 2013 to US$ 43.8 billion in 2020 at an estimated CAGR of 28.8% between 2014 and 2020.

Global Bioplastics Market: Drivers and Trends

Demand for bioplastics is increasing since past decade due to growing awareness concerning environmental conservation, use of bio-based or natural resources for manufacturing materials and formulation of various regulations across countries for effective use of natural resources and waste management.

Analysis on Bioplastics Market

In the year 2012, the global bioplastics production capacity was approximately 1.3 million tonnes of which Asia Pacific region accounted for largest share. By 2020, Asia Pacific region is projected to be the largest consumer of bioplastics globally followed by North America and Europe.  Eco-friendly initiatives by corporates and abundant availability of raw materials for manufacturing bioplastics are prominent factors driving growth in Asia Pacific bioplastics market.

In terms of value, bioplastics markets in matured economies are collectively projected to expand at a CAGR of 26.0% during the forecast period while emerging economies are collectively projected to increase at a CAGR of 31.7% by 2020, which is 1.2 times more than that of matured economies.

Bioplastics Market Segmentation

By material type, bio-PET accounted for largest share by value in 2013 followed by biodegradable polyester, starch blends, bio-PE and other materials. Bio-PET market size is projected to grow by approximately seven times from 2013 to 2020, thus representing a CAGR of 31.4% during the forecast period. Bio-PET is projected to represent high value and high growth market segment during the forecast period whereas starch blends and bio-based PLA are projected to be low value and low growth bioplastic market segments during the forecast period. Bio-PET and other bioplastics are collectively projected to exhibit a value CAGR of 33.6% over the forecast period while all other bioplastic materials including bio-PA, starch blends, PHA, PLA and bio-PE are collectively projected to grow at CAGR of 14.3% during the forecast period.

By application type, bottles manufacturing accounted for largest share in 2013 followed by packaging, automotive applications, food service disposables and consumer products. Bottles manufacturing application segment is projected to increase its market share by approximately 1.3 times from 2014 to 2020. Packaging and bottle manufacturing segment are projected to hold dominant share during the forecast period while bottle manufacturing segment is projected to grow above average growth rate over the forecast period. Both these high value application segments are collectively projected to grow at CAGR of 29.8% while all other application segments are collectively projected to grow at CAGR of 26.5% over the forecast period.

Global Bioplastics Market Value, By Material Type, 2013–2020 (US$ Mn.)

Source: FMI, 2014

Some of the market participants active in the global bioplastics market featured in the report include BASF SE, NatureWorks LLC, Toray Industries Inc., Evonik Industries, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, DSM N.V., Arkema, Techno Polymer Co. Ltd. and RTP Company.





Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags

For more than 50 years, global production of plastic has continued to rise. Some 299 million tons of plastics were produced in 2013, representing a 4 percent increase over 2012. Recovery and recycling, however, remain insufficient, and millions of tons of plastics end up in landfills and oceans each year, writes Gaelle Gourmelon, Communications and Marketing Manager at the Worldwatch Institute, in the Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online article (

Worldwide plastic production has been growing as the durable, primarily petroleum-based material gradually replaces materials like glass and metal. Today, an average person living in Western Europe or North America consumes 100 kilograms of plastic each year, mostly in the form of packaging. Asia uses just 20 kilograms per person, but this figure is expected to grow rapidly as economies in the region expand.

According to the United Nations Environmental Program, between 22 percent and 43 percent of the plastic used worldwide is disposed of in landfills, where its resources are wasted, the material takes up valuable space, and it blights communities. Recovering plastic from the waste stream for recycling or for combustion for energy generation has the potential to minimize these problems. However, much of the plastic collected for recycling is shipped to countries with lower environmental regulation. And burning plastic for energy requires air emissions controls and produces hazardous ash, all while being relatively inefficient.

Most plastic scraps from the United States, Europe, and other countries that have established collection systems flow to China, which receives 56 percent (by weight) of waste plastic imports worldwide. Indirect evidence suggests that most of this imported plastic is reprocessed at low-tech, family-run facilities with no environmental protection controls, such as proper disposal of contaminants or waste water. There are also concerns that low-quality plastics are not reused but are disposed of or incinerated for energy in plants that lack air pollution control systems. Through its 2010 Green Fence Operation, the Chinese government has started to work to reduce the number unregulated facilities.

Approximately 10–20 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans each year. A recent study conservatively estimated that 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing a total of 268,940 tons are currently floating in the world’s oceans. This plastic debris results in an estimated $13 billion a year in losses from damage to marine ecosystems, including financial losses to fisheries and tourism as well as time spent cleaning beaches. Animals such as seabirds, whales, and dolphins can become entangled in plastic matter, and floating plastic items—such as discarded nets, docks, and boats—can transport microbes, algae, invertebrates, and fish into non-native regions, affecting the local ecosystems.

The environmental and social benefits of plastics must be weighed against the problems that the durability and high volume of this material present to the waste stream. Plastics help to reduce food waste by keeping products fresh longer, allow for the manufacture of life-saving healthcare equipment, reduce packaging mass compared with other materials, improve transportation efficiency, and have large potential for use in renewable energy technologies. But plastic litter, gyres of plastics in the oceans, and toxic additives in plastic products—including colorants, flame retardants, and plasticizers (such as bisphenol A, or BPA)—are raising awareness of and strengthening consumer demand for more sustainable materials.

Along with reducing unnecessary plastic consumption, finding more environmentally friendly packaging alternatives, and improving product and packaging design to use less plastic, many challenges associated with plastics could be addressed by improving management of the material across its life cycle.

Businesses and consumers could increase their participation in collection in order to move plastic waste toward a recovery supply chain, and companies could switch to greater use of recycled plastics. Governments must regulate the plastic supply chain to encourage and monitor recycling.