Polypropylene made from sugarcane, polyester based on starch, and polymers using lactic acid as feedstock: Plastics based on renewable resources are increasingly becoming a real alternative to petrochemical products. “Even in times of economic difficulties, bioplastics possess an enormous potential”, describes Oliver Kutsch, CEO of the market research institute Ceresana: “Until 2021, demand is likely to increase by 18.9% per year.” Ceresana is already publishing the third edition of its market report on bioplastics.
The improved properties of modern bioplastics allow for an increasing substitution of conventional plastics. Technological progress and a rapid expansion of production capacities enable manufacturers to reduce prices and to continue to increase the competitiveness of bioplastics. A large potential still remains untapped nonetheless: Many processors and consumers are still expressing doubts regarding the performance and processability of “green” plastics. Processors of plastics and innovative companies around the world, however, are trying to improve their image by emphasizing environmental protection and sustainability.
Europe Leading the Way
Ceresana forecasts revenues generated on the global market for bioplastics to rise to approx. US$5.8 billion in 2021 – compared to current values, revenues will triple. Europe currently accounts for more than one third of total global bioplastics consumption. According to Ceresana, this will continue to be the case for several years to come, not least because Europe is leading in the research and development of bioplastics. However, Asia-Pacific and South America in particular are catching up significantly. They possess a wealth of biological resources and growing sales markets, and have governments that promote bioplastics.
Focus on “Drop-In” Bioplastics
The trend moves towards so called “Drop In” bioplastics such as bio-polyethylene or bio-PET; their properties are similar to those of their fossil equivalents, and, like those, they are not biodegradable either. These developments are backed by large enterprises in the segments foodstuff, consumer goods, and the automotive industry that intend to reduce their ecological footprint by using easy to recycle bioplastics. Biodegradable plastics are utilized in all applications where they help to reduce disposal costs: Packaging that decomposes alongside leftover food, agricultural films that simply can be plowed in or flower pots and trays for seedlings.
Chapter 1 provides a presentation and analysis of the market for bioplastics, including forecasts up to 2021: In addition to revenues, demand for and production of each bioplastic as well as influencing factors are explained in detail. This report offers a comprehensive overview over developments expected for individual countries and regions as well as global market dynamics.
Chapter 2 examines the 7 largest countries of the market in more detail: Data on demand for and revenues generated with bioplastics as well as current and future production capacities are provided. Demand for bioplastics is analyzed in detail, split by the applications Packaging and Films, Bottles, Loose fill materials, Bags and Sacks, Automotive and Electronics, and Other Applications. Also, this chapter includes a detailed analysis of demand split by type of plastic.
Chapter 3 offers a detailed analysis of applications for bioplastics, e.g. in the packaging or automotive industries: This part provides data on development in Europe (Western and Eastern Europe), North America, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world (South America, the Middle East, Africa).
In chapter 4, demand and production of individual types of bioplastics are analyzed. Products covered include polylactic acid (PLA), starch-based bioplastics, other degradable bioplastics, bio-PE and bio-PP, bio-PET, and other non-degradable bioplastics.
Chapter 5 is a useful directory of producers, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, product-specific information as well as existing and future capacities at individual production sites. Extensive profiles are provided for 101 producers, including NatureWorks LLC, Braskem S.A, Toyota Motor Corporation, Arkema S.A, Solvay SA, and BIOTEC GmbH & Co. KG.