Home Advanced Materials Biodegradable Foam Market Size, Share & Trends Report, 2031

Biodegradable Foam Market

Biodegradable Foam Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Material Type (Starch-based Foam, Polylactic Acid (PLA) Foam, Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) Foam, Cellulose-based Foam, Others), By End-use Industry (Packaging, Building and Construction, Furniture and Bedding, Automotive  , Electronics, Others), By Foam Type (Flexible Foam, Rigid Foam, Molded Foam, Extruded Foam, Spray Foam) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2024-2032

Report Code: SRAM55999DR
Study Period 2020-2032 CAGR 10.3%%
Historical Period 2020-2022 Forecast Period 2024-2032
Base Year 2023 Base Year Market Size USD 905 million
Forecast Year 2032 Forecast Year Market Size USD 2,164 million
Largest Market North America Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global biodegradable foam market size was valued at USD 905 million in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 2,164 million by 2032, registering a CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period (2024–2032). The growing popularity of biodegradable foams in various end-use industries, such as food packaging, construction, and automotive, is driving the market's growth.

Biodegradable foam, called green cell foam, is an environmentally friendly substitute for polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene foams. Biodegradable foam is a biodegradable polymer with polylactic acid derived from corn or other sugar-producing plants. Biodegradable foam can be easily recycled using corrugated or paper materials and readily dissolves in water. This represents a significant advancement in adopting biodegradable materials in packaging and transportation. Biodegradable foam is highly suitable for packing due to its extraordinary toughness, even when exposed to several impact loads. The market includes a range of uses, such as packaging, insulation, cushioning, and others. It is influenced by growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly solutions and legislative efforts that promote sustainability.

The expansion of the global biodegradable foam market is primarily fueled by the growing need for sustainable and recycled products and the increasing awareness of the adverse environmental effects of traditional plastics. Additionally, government regulations requiring biodegradable materials contribute to this market growth.


  • Starch-based foam accounts for the largest market share by material type.
  • Automotive holds a significant market share in the end-user industry.
  • Flexible foam influences market growth through foam type.

Market Dynamics

Global Biodegradable Foam Market Drivers

Consumer Preference, Increasing Adoption of Bio-based materials, and Sustainable Packaging

People are more conscious of environmental issues and actively pursue ecologically friendly products. Biodegradable foams, a sustainable alternative to conventional foams, appeal to this growing consumer segment. This increased demand from conscious consumers is driving market growth. The packaging industry is a significant user of foams for protecting and cushioning goods during transportation. Biodegradable foams offer a sustainable packaging solution, reducing the environmental impact and meeting the demands of eco-conscious consumers.

Moreover, there is a growing preference for bio-based materials in the biodegradable foam market. Manufacturers use renewable resources, such as plant-based starches, polylactic acid (PLA), and cellulose, to produce biodegradable foams. These bio-based materials offer advantages like reduced reliance on fossil fuels, lower carbon footprint, and improved biodegradability.

Environmental Concerns and Government Regulations 

Due to growing awareness about the detrimental environmental impact of conventional plastics and foams, there is a huge demand for sustainable alternatives. Biodegradable foams offer a solution to reduce plastic waste and its associated pollution, as these break down naturally without leaving harmful residues. Many governments worldwide have implemented or are considering regulations restricting the use of non-biodegradable plastics and foams. This has increased the need for biodegradable foam products as companies seek to comply with these regulations and reduce their environmental footprint.

Global Biodegradable Foam Market Restraints

Limited Material Properties

Biodegradable foam materials may have limitations in terms of their physical properties compared to traditional foams. For example, these may have lower strength, reduced heat resistance, or limited durability. These limitations can restrict their suitability for certain applications, preventing widespread adoption in industries where specific performance requirements must be met.

Availability of Raw Materials

The availability of raw materials for biodegradable foams can be a constraint. Bio-based or renewable raw materials may be limited due to agricultural yield fluctuations, land use competition, and seasonal variations. Ensuring a constant and sustainable supply of raw materials can challenge manufacturers.

Global Biodegradable Foam Market Opportunity

Emerging Economies

Emerging economies, such as consumers and producers, are crucial in the biodegradable foam market. As these economies experience rapid industrialization and urbanization, the demand for packaging materials, including biodegradable foam, is rising. As environmental awareness increases and sustainability becomes a global concern, emerging economies present significant opportunities for biodegradable foam manufacturers. These economies often need more developed waste management infrastructure and prefer sustainable alternatives to traditional foam materials. By entering these markets early, companies can establish themselves as leaders in the biodegradable foam industry.

In addition, with expanding populations and increasing consumer spending power, countries like Asia-Pacific and Latin America are becoming key markets for biodegradable foam products. Rising environmental awareness and government initiatives to curb plastic pollution are driving the adoption of biodegradable alternatives in these regions.

Additionally, emerging economies increasingly invest in research and development to innovate and improve biodegradable foam technologies. These countries contribute to advancements in biodegradable foam materials and manufacturing processes by collaborating with academic institutions, industries, and government agencies. 

Furthermore, the growing presence of multinational corporations in emerging markets is driving the adoption of biodegradable foam through their supply chains. As these companies seek to align with global sustainability goals and meet consumer demand for eco-friendly products, they are increasingly sourcing biodegradable packaging materials from local suppliers in emerging economies.

Collaboration with End-Use Industries and Strategic Partnerships

Collaboration with industries heavily relying on foam materials, such as packaging, automotive, and construction, can create opportunities for biodegradable foam manufacturers. Companies can develop customized solutions to meet specific requirements and expand their market reach by working closely with these industries.

In addition, collaborating with research institutions, universities, and other industry players can foster innovation and accelerate the development of biodegradable foam technologies. Strategic partnerships can help companies leverage expertise, resources, and distribution networks, thus driving market growth and penetration.

Regional Analysis

North America Dominates the Global Market

The global biodegradable foam market analysis is conducted in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific. 

North America is the most significant global biodegradable foam market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.7% over the forecast period. North America is expected to dominate the biodegradable foam market with a market share of 29% in 2023. The market in this region is developing because of the rising awareness of the environmental consequences of non-biodegradable foams, strict government limitations on their usage, and the increasing need for sustainable packaging. Various biodegradable foams, including those made from plant-based materials like corn starch or sugarcane, are available. Companies across the U.S. and Canada are exploring these options to reduce their environmental footprint, particularly in sectors like food service, shipping, and manufacturing, where disposable or single-use products are standard.

Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 9.8% over the forecast period. Europe is expected to be the second-largest market for biodegradable foams, with a market share of 26% in 2023. The regional market growth is due to the increasing focus on sustainability, stringent government regulations for non-biodegradable foams, and the growing demand for biodegradable packaging solutions from the food and beverage industry. Biodegradable foam has gained traction in the automotive sector across Europe, including France and Germany, due to its eco-friendly characteristics. Manufacturers in these countries are increasingly adopting biodegradable foam materials for various automotive applications, such as interior components, seat cushions, and packaging. In France, automotive companies invest in sustainable materials to align with the country's stringent environmental regulations and consumer demand for greener products. Biodegradable foam offers a viable solution to reduce carbon footprints and promote circular economy practices within the automotive sector.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for biodegradable foams during the forecast period. The regional market growth is attributed to the increasing disposable income of consumers, growing awareness about the environmental influence of non-biodegradable foams, and the rising demand for biodegradable packaging solutions from the e-commerce and retail industries. In addition, continuous research and development endeavors result in advancements in biodegradable foam technology, enhancing its cost-effectiveness and adaptability for various uses and further stimulating market expansion.

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Material Type
  1. Starch-based Foam
  2. Polylactic Acid (PLA) Foam
  3. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) Foam
  4. Cellulose-based Foam
  5. Others
By End-use Industry
  1. Packaging, Building and Construction
  2. Furniture and Bedding
  3. Automotive  
  4. Electronics
  5. Others
By Foam Type
  1. Flexible Foam
  2. Rigid Foam
  3. Molded Foam
  4. Extruded Foam
  5. Spray Foam
Company Profiles BASF SE Arkema Group Dow Chemical Company Sealed Air Corporation Synbra Holding BV Evonik Industries AG KANEKA Corporation Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc. Pregis LLC Eco-gecko Products Inc. Toray Industries Inc. Be Green Packaging LLC Ecovative Design LLC Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Singapore Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global biodegradable foam market is segmented based on material type, end-use industry, and foam type. 

The market is further segmented by material type into starch-based foam, polylactic acid (PLA) foam, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) foam, and cellulose-based foam.

The starch-based foam segment had the highest revenue share in 2023 and is expected to continue to dominate the market during the forecast period. The most popular kind is starch-based biodegradable foam, produced using starches derived from corn, potatoes, or tapioca. Making starch-based foam typically involves extruding or molding the starch into the desired foam shape with the help of water, heat, and pressure. While it is biodegradable and compostable, its strength and heat resistance may be lower than those of other varieties. This material is popular in packaging applications because it can be engineered to be shock-absorbent and protective, similar to traditional foam packaging. It's commonly used for packing electronics, glassware, other fragile items, and food service items like plates, bowls, and takeout containers. Such applications drive segment growth. 

The cellulose-based biodegradable foam segment is expected to grow fastest during the forecast period. This foam form has good mechanical qualities and is frequently used in packaging applications. It is derived from wood pulp or other cellulose sources. However, depending on the particular cellulose source, biodegradation rates can change.

Based on the end-use industry, the market is fragmented into packaging, building and construction, furniture and bedding, automotive, electronics, and others.

The automotive segment had a significant revenue share in 2023 and is expected to continue to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. The automotive industry uses biodegradable foams in different applications, including packaging, insulation, and interior components. The automotive industry has already commercialized biodegradable thermoplastic foams, and some OEMs are using bio-sourced polymeric foams in premium segments. The automotive industry uses rigid bio-based foams for headliners, suspension insulators, bumpers, and flexible bio-based foams for seat cushioning. Polyurethane foam is often used in dashboards and door panels to provide insulation and reduce noise levels. 

The packaging segment is expected to experience the fastest growth rate during the forecast period. Biodegradable foam is revolutionizing the packaging industry as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional polystyrene foams like Styrofoam. Companies use biodegradable foam for protective packaging due to its comparable shock-absorbing properties, safeguarding products during transit while minimizing environmental impact. This shift helps companies meet increasingly stringent waste disposal regulations and appeals to environmentally conscious consumers, supporting a more sustainable supply chain and contributing to the global effort to lower plastic waste.

By foam type, the market is classified into flexible, rigid, molded, extruded, and spray foam.

The flexible foam segment had the highest revenue share. Flexible biodegradable foam can be made from various materials like starch, cellulose, or algae-based substances. These materials can be engineered to have the desired flexibility and biodegradability, making them eco-friendly alternatives to traditional foam materials.

The rigid foam segment is the fastest growing over the forecast period. Rigid biodegradable foam materials are designed to provide structure and insulation while environmentally friendly. They're often made from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane and break down naturally over time, reducing environmental impact compared to traditional foams. They have applications in packaging, construction, and other industries where insulation and structural support are needed.

Market Size By Material Type

Recent Developments

April 2024: BASF presented new concepts and recycling methods for polyurethanes at UTECH in Maastricht. BASF offers new, sustainable material developments and recycling methods for various industries, which will be presented at the BASF stand, E20.

November 2023: BVERDE® GP 790 L, the latest addition to BASF's comprehensive portfolio of ingredients for laundry detergent applications. This new, readily biodegradable*, anti-redeposition polymer is designed to meet customers' growing need for products emphasizing sustainability without compromising performance.

April 2024: Arkema showcased various solutions and technologies supporting its customers' commitment to decarbonization, more circularity, and other sustainability goals at the 2024 American Coatings Show, April 30-May 2, in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

March 2024: Arkema awards the USDA BioPreferred® product label for Oleris® C7 and C11 oleochemicals. Arkema's range of advanced biomaterials made from renewable castor seeds is now permitted to carry the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) BioPreferred® label after being independently analyzed and certified to be made from biogenic carbon (CO2 from the atmosphere).

February 2024: Arkema's advanced bio-circular polyamide 11 range was labeled a "Solar Impulse Efficient Solution." The High-Performance Polymers range, which includes Rilsan® and Pebax® Rnew® polymers, was attributed to the "Solar Impulse Efficient Solution" label following an assessment performed by external independent experts based on verified standards.

Top Key Players

BASF SE Arkema Group Dow Chemical Company Sealed Air Corporation Synbra Holding BV Evonik Industries AG KANEKA Corporation Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc. Pregis LLC Eco-gecko Products Inc. Toray Industries Inc. Be Green Packaging LLC Ecovative Design LLC Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the estimated growth rate (CAGR) of the biodegradable foam market?
The market size is growing at a CAGR of 10.3% from 2024 to 2032.
North America has the largest share of this market.
Consumer Preference, Increasing Adoption of Bio-based materials, and Sustainable Packaging is the key driver for the growth of this market.
The key players in this market are BASF SE, Arkema Group, Dow Chemical Company, Sealed Air Corporation, Synbra Holding BV, Evonik Industries AG, KANEKA Corporation, Kaneka Americas Holding, Inc. Pregis LLC, Eco-gecko Products Inc.
The Projected value of this market is USD 2,164 million by 2032.

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