The global biodegradable plastics market is fairly concentrated, especially in North America and Europe. In 2014, 33% out of the total market volume were reserved by three companies, namely BASE SE, Corbion, and NatureWorks LLC. Due to the high price sensitivity of raw materials and production process, diverse pricing strategies are expected to be adopted by prominent players, which will keep the degree of competition to a moderate level. The key players are also likely to engage in exclusive agreements, strategic acquisitions and mergers, and joint ventures in order to enhance their share and serve a diverse range of industries.
According to the recent study by Transparency Market Research, the segments of electronics and medical will catch the attention of biodegradable plastics manufacturers around the world in a next few years. The global market for biodegradable plastics was valued at US$7.6 bn in 2014, and rising at a healthy CAGR of 9.9% during the forecast period of 2015–2023, the valuation is anticipated to reach US$17.7 bn by the end of 2023.
Packaging Sector Dominates Demand
In terms of volume, packaging was the most prominent segment of the global biodegradable plastics market in 2014, accounting for 59.1% of the shares. The segment is likely to continue its dominance during the forecast period due to legislative regulations and consumer pressure toward environment-friendly materials. Agriculture is likely to be another lucrative application segment of the biodegradable plastics market in the near future, as these plastics help in maintaining the productivity of the soil. Other applications of biodegradable plastics include electronic and medical sectors.
Geographically, the global market for biodegradable plastics is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. By volume, North America dominated the demand for biodegradable plastics with the U.S. leading in the country-wise market. The trend is likely to continue during the forecast period due to governmental regulations in the region. The biodegradable plastics market in the country is projected to experience above-average growth during the forecast period owing to rising awareness toward eco-friendly materials in the region. Asia Pacific market for biodegradable plastics is also projected for a healthy growth rate during the forecast period, with China leading the country-wide market in the region.
Stringent Regulations Driving Demand
Increasing consumer pressure and stringent regulations pertaining to the ban on conventional petroleum-based plastics are driving the global demand for biodegradable plastics. These norms are remarkably stringent in Europe, North America, and countries in Eurozone. One of the major factors boosting this market is the initiative taken up by several governments to use biodegradable plastics to overcome the challenges of disposing conventional plastics. On April 29, 2015, the European Parliament and the council amended Directive 94/62/EC with regards to reduction of consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags. This has further led to increase in the consumption of biodegradable plastics. An ordinance has also been passed in the U.S. to ban checkout bags by retail stores. This has fueled the biodegradable plastics market in the North America. Conversely, the requirement of ideal biodegradable environmental conditions such as appropriate micro-organisms, temperature, and humidity are seen as a restraining factor for the growth rate.
According to the author of the report, “price fluctuation of petrochemicals for petro-based plastics has become an opportunity for biobased biodegradable plastics. Biobased plastics are prepared from naturally occurring materials such as cellulore, starch, and oil. These materials are easily available at low cost. Researchers are working with biodegradable plastics manufacturers in order to adopt the newly-developed technique for manufacturing biodegradable plastics from natural materials.”
The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, “Biodegradable Plastics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023.”
Key Segments of the Global Biodegradable Plastics Market
- Biodegradable Plastics Market – Product Segment Analysis
- Polylactic Acid
- Polybutylene Succinate
- Regenerated Cellulose
- Biodegradable Plastics Market - Application Analysis
- Injection Molding
- Others (Including Electronic, Medical, etc.)
- Biodegradable Plastics Market - Regional Analysis
- North America
- Rest of North America
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa (MEA)
- South Africa
- Rest of MEA
- North America
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