The global bioplastics market had a revenue share of USD 10.12 billion in 2021, presumed to reach USD 35.58 billion, expanding at a CAGR of 17.02% during the forecast period of 2030. Unlike traditional plastic, created from petroleum-based raw materials, bioplastics are made from renewable sources, including cellulose, corn, sugarcane, potato, wheat, rice, or vegetable oil. Some bioplastics break down in the open air, while others are designed to break down with the help of fungi, bacteria, and enzymes in a commercial composting facility. Others imitate the strength and toughness of common plastics like PET or polyethylene. Bioplastics can immediately replace their petroleum-based counterparts. It is usually possible to make them chemically equivalent to the standard industrial plastics. Biodegradable (able to decompose naturally), biobased (produced from a renewable resource), or both describe the properties of bioplastics. Since biodegradable bioplastics only degrade under specified circumstances, they can be just as robust as other types of plastic. Polylactic acid, starch blends, PBAT, and PBS, are examples of biodegradable plastics, whereas polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyamide, and polytrimethylene terephthalate are examples of non-biodegradable plastics.
The value chain in the bioplastics market is changing from a linear economy to a circular one. The market's significant participants are switching to a circular economy to find more sustainable products and reduce their reliance on crude oil in the future. In recent years, this trend has increased the demand for renewable raw materials like vegetable oil and plastic waste to make plastics. The production of bio-based polymers has been prompted by growing worries about the toxicity of petrochemicals and the depletion of crude oil sources. During the projection period, factors such as strict environmental protection legislation, increased consumer concern over the environment, and a growing concentration of crucial companies in manufacturing bioplastics are anticipated to be the main drivers of growth.
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The Increasing Usage of Renewable & Bio-based Products and Demand from the Flexible Packaging Industry
The development of bio-based polymers has been fueled by growing worries about harmful petrochemical hazards and the depletion of crude oil sources. It is anticipated that regulations by the majority of countries banning the use of petroleum-based plastics in specific applications, like food packaging and medical equipment, will further encourage the creation of bioplastics in the plastics industry. North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific regions have the highest concentration of bioplastic material manufacturing worldwide. Global demand for bioplastics is predicted to increase as more companies, including those in the food and pharmaceutical industries, use more environmentally friendly plastics. Globally, there is a growing need for plastic substitutes due to growing worries about using polymers made of petroleum. Manufacturers in the market are turning their attention to the development of bioplastics due to the rate of innovation and new product development. This results in the expansion of the bioplastics market.
Because bioplastic packaging offers an environmentally responsible alternative and improves the aesthetic of the finished product, flexible packaging's increasing use of bioplastics is anticipated to boost market expansion. One of the leading causes driving up the demand for flexible packaging is the rising demand for food due to the growing world population. Additionally, the packaged food business has seen considerable growth in the United States and Europe in recent years. Regarding this, it is projected that advancements in production technology, the usage of case-ready packaging, and better packaging techniques will fuel the demand for bioplastics in flexible packaging. Additionally, improvements in food processing technology in the United States and the European Union are likely to accelerate the expansion of the packaged food business, which is anticipated to increase demand for flexible packaging.
Price Competitiveness of Bioplastics over Conventional Plastics
The main problem restricting the market's growth is bioplastics' high cost when compared to traditional plastics, even though they are becoming more and more popular on a global scale. Currently, it is challenging for bioplastics to offer competitive pricing due to the cheap cost of traditional plastics. In addition to being expensive, lacking infrastructure for waste collection and recycling makes things difficult. Because of bioplastics' value-adding benefits and environmental friendliness, even though their production costs are expensive, people are becoming more prepared to pay for their use. It is also anticipated that the rising population and growing concerns about food shortages will impact the supply of bioplastics' raw materials in the upcoming years.
The Increasing Adoption in Agriculture & Horticulture Segments
The demand for bioplastic products has expanded in agriculture and horticulture applications due to factors such as the high consumer acceptability of bio-based products, the eco-friendly characteristics of bioplastics, and the availability of renewable raw material sources. Additionally, its capacity to lessen ecological plastic pollution and the expanding global tendency for e-commerce are some important drivers of its adoption. Further, defending crops against pests, thwarting the growth of weeds, and controlling soil moisture and nutrient content have increased product demand. Consequently, these elements create opportunities for the bioplastics market to grow.
The global bioplastics market is classified based on product, application, and region.
Based on product, the categories include Biodegradable and Non-Biodegradable.
The biodegradable section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 17.4% and hold the largest market share. Over the forecast period, rising demand for bio-based plastics across various end-use sectors is anticipated to fuel this demand. Polylactic acid, starch blends, PBAT, PBS, PHA, polycaprolactone, and cellulose acetate, are biodegradable plastics. The most widely used biodegradable plastics are those made of a starch blend. Easily accessible natural resources like potato, tapioca, wheat, rice, and corn are used to make starch-based polymers. The abundance of materials makes starch blends an excellent replacement for traditional polymers. Starch blends are a great substitute for traditional plastics since they are readily available in large quantities.
The non-biodegradable section will hold the second-largest share. Polyethylene, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polyamide, Polytrimethylene Terephthalate, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Furanoate, and Polyvinyl Chloride are examples of non-biodegradable plastics. The raw ingredients used to make these plastics include renewable resources, including sugarcane, corn, castor oil, and others. Most applications for non-biodegradable bioplastics include disposables, bottles, food packaging, carry bags, shopping bags, films, consumer goods, electronics, and vehicle interiors. The segment is anticipated to develop over the forecast period due to critical companies' growing propensity for sustainable products due to increasing end-user demand and the growing desire to lessen dependence on petroleum-based products.
Based on the application, the categories include Packaging, Agriculture, Consumer Goods, Textile, Automotive & Transportation, Building & Construction, and Others.
The packaging section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 17.14% and hold the largest market share. Bioplastics are widely utilized in packaging applications, including films, sheets, household care items, food and beverage packaging, and packaging for personal care goods. Some of the most popular bioplastics used for packaging are starch blends, PLA, PBAT, PET, PE, and PBS. Manufacturers are forced to employ bioplastics for packaging due to escalating waste issues worldwide and customer trends toward sustainable packaging. Bioplastics are primarily engaged in food packaging applications in the packaging sector. Bottles, jars, and other containers made of bioplastics are also frequently used to package fresh foods. Bottles made of PLA plastic are strong, single-use, and have qualities like gloss and transparency. Unlike products made of petroleum, polylactic acid is easily compostable and does not release hazardous fumes when burned.
The textiles section will hold the second-largest share. Bioplastics are utilized in the textile industry to create bags, apparel, footwear, home textiles, and technical textiles. Technical textiles are used for interiors, seats, and other things in the car sector. They provide exceptional wear resistance and material strength. Significant producers of technical textiles are turning to bioplastics instead of traditional polymers to lower their carbon footprint. Consequently, it is projected that the worldwide bioplastics industry will benefit significantly from the shifting textile industry's preference for bioplastics.
The region-wise segmentation of the global bioplastics market includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa.
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Europe will command the market with the largest share while expanding at a CAGR of 16.7%. Due to its strict environmental legislation and rising consumer concern for the environment, Europe will lead the global market for bioplastics. Government actions will also likely increase demand for bioplastics over the projection period, such as the EU's decision to reduce overall single-use plastic product use. As part of a comprehensive regulation against plastic trash that degrades beaches and pollutes oceans, the European Parliament agreed in 2019 to outlaw single-use plastic products like cutlery and straws.
Bioplastics are widely employed in various crucial applications, including bottles, shopping bags, loose packaging, and films for agricultural mulch. In the European Union, almost 100 billion bags are used annually. All around Europe, there is an increase in the broad acceptance of bioplastics among consumers. The growing acceptance of bioplastics in important end-use sectors, including packaging, textiles, consumer goods, automotive & transportation, and medical devices, among others, is also expected to propel the market.
North America will expand at a CAGR of 17.4% and hold USD 12,316 million. The rising demand for bioplastics is anticipated to be the market driver in North America. The regional market is also characterized by strong demand for sustainability, which has resulted in a significant need for sustainable packaging. Initiatives by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote environmentally friendly products are also anticipated to increase demand for bioplastics in North America. The market for bioplastics in the region is likely to increase over the next few years as a result of some essential factors like strict government regulations and cleanup initiatives undertaken by the EPA like short-term cleanups of National Priorities List (NPL) sites, waste sites, or sites with the potential to release hazardous materials.
For example, ASTM D6400 is the accepted standard for plastic products under the umbrella of compostable or biodegradable products. These products must completely degrade in a composting setting without leaving harmful residues behind. The market for bioplastics is anticipated to increase in the upcoming years due to such government initiatives. Because of the increasing demand for bio-based packaging in the food and consumer products sectors, the U.S. market for bioplastics is anticipated to increase significantly throughout the forecast period. Bio bags and bio-based plastics are more environmentally friendly and have higher tensile strengths. The demand for bioplastics is therefore expected to increase during the forecast period.