Plastics that can be decomposed by the reaction of microorganisms in the nature are generally referred as biodegradable material plastics. Biodegradable plastic are the ones that decomposes naturally in the environment. This is achieved by introducing microorganisms in the environment which metabolize and break down the structure of biodegradable plastic. The end product is less harmful to the environment than traditional plastics. Biodegradable plastics are made of bio-degradable materials, which are plastics in nature but are made from renewable raw materials. There are normally two types of biodegradable plastics, injection molded and solid. The solid form is generally used for items such as food containers, leaf collection bags, and plastic water bottles. These plastics are further segmented into different categories like bio-based and petro-based biodegradable plastics. One of the most common processes employed in the production of biodegradable plastics is fermentation of sugar or canola oil to produce polylactic acid (PLA) or polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which in turn gets converted into biodegradable plastics. The global biodegradable plastics market is anticipated to reach 804.58 kilo tons by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 12.5% between 2016 and 2022. In terms of value, the market is projected to reach $3.6 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 11.3% between 2016 and 2022.
Biodegradable plastics material has gained popularity over the past decade. They are used in various applications, most importantly these are used in packaging application. The biodegradable plastics market contains only 1% of the overall plastics market, but with the growing consumption, this trend is projected to alter in the near future. The rising demand for biodegradable plastics has mainly increased because of environmental awareness. Biodegradable plastics are used for manufacture of packaging materials as consumers are showing interest towards ecofriendly packaging materials. A major restraint faced by the biodegradable plastics market is the high pricing that is associated. Biodegradable plastics are not able to compete economically with the petroleum based plastics due to the huge manufacturing cost involved in the production process. However, with more investment by market players towards balancing the economies of scale and creating new manufacturing processes, it may result in lower prices of bioplastics in the near future. The current biodegradable plastics market is facing challenges related to its impact on food production and its supply. As most of the biodegradable plastics are made by bio-based materials, their feedstock is obtained from natural sources; this gives extra strain on food production and supply. This is a new rising concern and a major challenge for the market players involved in the biodegradable plastics market. But with continuous development of new technologies and search for new sources of feedstock by the market players, the problem may be solved in the future.
Based on product type, the biodegradable plastics market has been divided into PLA, starch blends, PCL, regenerated cellulose, PBS and PHA. In terms of applications, the market is divided into packaging, fibers, agriculture, injection molding and others. In terms of product type, biodegradable materials made by starch blends are expected to have the highest growth rate. On the basis of application, packaging industry currently has the highest market share and will continue to be top the market in the forecast period.
In terms of region, the market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Demand for biodegradable plastics in each of its application segment has been analyzed and forecast for the period of eight years. Western Europe and North America are the two biggest consumers of biodegradable plastics worldwide. Italy and the U.S. are the key countries in Western Europe and North America, growing at CAGRs of 11.9% and 12.9%, respectively, in the forecast period. Apart from this, the developing countries such as China and India have huge untapped potential, and are rising at a rapid pace due to rising domestic demand.
The report comprises of profiles of leading companies in the global biodegradable plastics market. These profiles include BASF SE, BIO-ON, Biome Bioplastics, Corbion, FKuR, Nature Works LLC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Plantic, and Natur -Tec India Private Limited. These companies are actively working upon their R&D for better end user products. For instance, next-generation biodegradable plastics company Carbios (France) is a specialized chemistry company which is just a 5-year-old green company, and is specializing in breakthrough technologies dedicated to the recovery of plastic waste. Company is working on less emission of waste in the manufacturing process. The company has recently got the two key U.S. patents and has exercised the worldwide licensing and patent options on these patent families.