The market for bio-based polymers is expected to register a CAGR of over 5% during the forecast period. One of the major factors driving the market is the increasing demand for sustainable plastics. Higher price compared to petroleum-based polymers is expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
- The packaging industry dominated the market, and is expected to grow during the forecast period.
- The increasing applications of biodegradable plastics are likely to act as an opportunity in the future.
- Europe dominated the market across the world, with the largest consumption from countries, such as France and the United Kingdom.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from Packaging Industry
- Packaging is one of the largest markets for bio-based polymers. These polymers exhibit excellent clarity and gloss, resistance to food fats/oils, and aroma barrier. Additionally, they also provide stiffness, twist retention, and printability to the packaging.
- Bio-based polymers are majorly used in fruit and vegetable packaging in the supermarkets, for bread bags and bakery boxes, bottles, envelopes and display carton windows, and shopping or carrier bags, among others.
- The bio-based polymer market for packaging is growing rapidly in the European and North American regions. The increasing intervention of FDA and related organizations, in terms of food safety, is largely promoting the usage of biodegradable and food grade plastics for beverage and snack consumption.
- The restaurant chains and food processing industries are increasingly adapting the biodegradable materials for food packaging. Consumer awareness is also rising rapidly, especially in the emerging economies, in terms of food safety, as some plastics are proven carcinogenic.
- The growth in developing regions, like Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East, is expected to increase in the near future due to the improving food packaging standards of various food and safety organizations.
- Moreover, the higher ease of disposing of biodegradable polymers has further added to its growing demand from the packaging industry.
Europe Region to Dominate the Market
- Europe dominated the global market share.
- Public awareness and government initiatives in the region have supported the use of biodegradable polymers in carrier bags, food packaging, food services (cutlery, etc.), and organic waste caddy liners, among others.
- Various countries in the region have been focusing on offering more eco-friendly packaging. This has increased the demand for polylactic acid from the packaging sector.
- Currently, the packaging sector in the United Kingdom has annual sales of GBP 11 billion, and it employs more than 85,000 people.
- It represents about 3% of the United Kingdom’s manufacturing, and is a major contributor to the country’s GDP.
- Non-United Kingdom-based companies own much of the country’s packaging industry.
- The growing need for small size packaging and the growing consumption habits with the change in lifestyles are anticipated to propel the demand for bio-based polymers over the forecast period.
The bio-based polymers market is partially consolidated, and is dominated by very few players. Some of these major players include BASF SE, Covestro AG, BIOTEC, thyssenkrupp AG, and NatureWorks LLC, among others.
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