The drive for environmental awareness has gravitated industries and their consumer base to prefer biodegradable ingredients in products. This is also true of packaging, and packaging being a rapidly growing horizontal has stirred the prospects of biofoam packaging. Strikingly, they have high biodegradability - that is, they degrade much faster than their synthetic counterparts - and the freedom to fabricators to use them through various processing methods are key advantages that drive the evolution of the biofoam packaging market.
A conscious drive from oil-based plastics to packaging that are not based on fossil fuels has spurred the use of biofoams in packaging. Biofoam are usually made of completely renewable materials, mainly consisting of vegetable oils and fats, corn starch, and sugarcane. Usually, the materials used for the biofoam packaging consists of industrial starch and cellulose fibers. The key application areas in the biofoam packaging market may comprise white goods products, furniture, food & beverage boxes, crockery, healthcare instruments, and automotive parts.
Manufacturers are coming out with new array of biofoam materials. They are in essence in the biofoam packaging market looking for better biodegradability, compost-ability, and recyclability. Researchers in developed world are relentlessly focused on testing new materials that can be processed economically to make biofoam packaging. This will enable globally prominent players to expand their footprints in cost-sensitive markets. The drive for reducing the overall carbon footprint of the packaging industry in less developed nations has stimulated their efforts in this direction in recent years. Further, they are looking for plant oil-based polymers.
For prominent players, constant product launches have been at the forefront of their agenda. Several of them are leaning on extensive research and development activities to expand their product portfolio. On such company is BEWiSynbra who is on the mission to produce CO2 neutral cellular foams.
Some of the top players in the biofoam packaging market are Sealed Air Corporation, BASF SE, Woodbridge Foam, Recticel SA, Hwa Ching Industry, Eco-Global Manufacturing, and Synbra Technology BV. Key players are intensively exploring untapped markets, such as in Asia Pacific.
The drive for adopting CO2 neutral packaging in various end-use industries is a key driver for opportunities in the biofoam packaging market. Strides made in composites has caused the array of materials to expand in the market. Advent of plant oil-based and natural filler composites has expanded the avenue for manufacturers in the biofoam packaging market. Over the years, they have investigated the economic viability of various materials that hold potential as biofoams.
The growing preference of biofoams over polystyrene in the packaging of fragile items is boosting the prospects of the biofoam packaging market. Advances in engineering bioplastics are also expanding the avenues for packaging companies around the world. Proliferating demand for fragile items in e-commerce channel is also spurring the uptake of products from the biofoam packaging market.
Some of the regional markets are North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Of these, North America and Europe have been substantially lucrative in the global biofoam packaging market. This is due to heightened awareness of consumers about the ecological footprint that packaging has made in recent years.
Asia Pacific is a rapidly expanding regional market, where the growth has been fuelled by increasing array of plant-based materials that can be used in flexible and rigid packaging. In addition, emerging economies are witnessing extensive research on material composites that have high recyclability and biodegradability.
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