The global plastic additives market size was worth USD 24,585 million in 2021. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 37,235 million by 2030 growing at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period (2022-2030).
Plastic additives are substances added during production to ensure the material performs at its best when molded and used. Plastic additives can also change the polymer's properties to get the plastic to behave a given way for specific usage. The need for plastic additives is projected to be driven by replacing conventional materials with plastics in several applications, expanding plastic demand due to rapid urbanization, and rising consumer spending power. The need for plastic additives is likely to be driven by replacing conventional materials with plastics in several applications, growing plastic demand due to rapid urbanization, and rising consumer purchasing power.
The replacement of conventional materials with engineering plastics is one of the major driving factors for the plastic additives market demand in many applications globally. Engineering plastics are replacing traditional materials like bronze, stainless steel, cast iron, and ceramics in various important commercial and industrial sectors, including packaging, construction, and automotive, due to their superior material properties, such as heat resistance, strength-to-weight ratio, and chemical stability.
The global demand for fuel-efficient and lightweight vehicles due to rising consumer awareness of environmental protection has pushed automotive manufacturers to make lighter overall vehicles. This is primarily done by replacing metals with engineering plastics as the essential material for producing automotive components and ancillaries, including electrical systems, dashboard trims, and bumpers.
Engineering plastics (primarily thermoplastic polyesters, co-polyamides, and styrene copolymers) are replacing conventional materials in the automotive industry; their usage is expected to increase considerably in the coming years. Additionally, the recent trend of growing electric vehicle production contributes to the increasing plastic usage in vehicles owing to lower strength and heat requirements. All such factors contribute to market growth.
Plastics are used for roofing, storage containers, pipes, cables, electronics, toys, kitchenware, safety gear, cosmetic items, household products, etc. because they are lighter and stronger than many other materials. Plastic is a simple option for reducing weight and expenses. Businesses typically save 25% to 50% on overall costs by switching to plastic parts.
Furthermore, furniture, textiles, electronics, and building materials like insulation use plastic additives like flame retardants to meet flammability standards. The market is expanding as a result of the use of flame retardants. Due to its flexibility and durability, growing consumer demand for PVC boosted the plasticizer demand, as almost 90% of the plasticizers are used in making PVC.
Similarly, in the packaging sector, the demand for faster packaging processes and the rising popularity among end-users of aesthetically pleasing complex-shaped flexible packaging in the food and beverage industry are expected to drive the adoption of engineering plastics, as compared to conventional plastics. Conventional plastics cannot maintain their structural consistency at higher temperatures caused by high processing speeds. All the above factors are expected to drive the demand for plastics and plastic additives during the forecast period.
The expansion of the global plastics sector determines how quickly the plastic additives market grows. Government regulations are anticipated to be a significant factor in deciding how quickly the plastic additives market share expands. The development of the plastic additives market may be hampered by various laws and regulations about the use of plastic. Rules governing the use of plastic bags should lessen their adverse effects on the environment, including the oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, and wildlife.
The governments of several countries are anticipated to restrict or outright prohibit the use of plastics, particularly single-use plastic, due to the growing concerns and awareness about environmental protection. Overall, it is anticipated that such a ban on the use of plastic, together with its substitution with more environmentally friendly options like jute or paper bags, will slow the expansion of the plastic additives market share.
In response to the growing demand for plastics, companies are developing products with novel applications. The primary objective is to create low-cost, durable products suitable for various industrial applications. They are enhancing engineering plastics' thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties. They are more resistant to chemicals than conventional plastics. For instance, PPS (Poly-Phenylene Sulfide) products are chemically resistant, flame resistant, and inert to fuels, acids, bases, and steam. In addition, they have minimal water-absorption properties and a low coefficient of linear thermal expansion. The use of engineering plastics in the life sciences has increased in recent years. Most of their services are in dental instruments, including healing caps, isolating parts, dental drilling and suction equipment, and dental tools and grips.
Additionally, plastics are utilized in modern product applications. For instance, in 2019, VolkerWesser, a construction company, developed PlasticRoad, a lightweight road that requires a fraction of the time to build compared to conventional routes and is virtually maintenance-free. PlasticRoad is expected to have a lifespan of three times that of traditional roads and is considered the most environmentally friendly alternative to conventional road structures. As a result of these developments in the plastics industry, it is anticipated that the plastic additives market share will experience numerous growth opportunities during the forecast period.
The global plastic additives market is segmented by type, plastic type, application, and region.
By type, the global market is further segmented into lubricants, processing aids, flow improvers, slip additives, antistatic additives, pigment wetting agents, filler dispersants, antifog additives, plasticizers, and others. The lubricants segment accounted for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. Lubricants decrease the frictional forces between polymer and polymer, polymer and metal, polymer and filler, filler and filler, and filler and metal. Lubricants can effectively reduce the viscosity of the resin melt, reducing the plasticizing temperature. It can also improve polymer flow and has little effect on transparency. Lubricants employed in processing plastics are waxes (`carnauba, paraffin, and stearic acid) and metallic soaps (stearates of lead, cadmium, barium, calcium, and zinc). Lubricants are widely used in PVC. Like stabilizers, lubricants belong to those additives indispensable for PVC processing. Typical lubricants, which are used for PVC applications, are hydrocarbons, stearates, fatty acids, esters, and amides, and some of them are modified with functional groups. Hence, those mentioned above are likely to affect the application of lubricants, as additives for plastics, during the forecast period.
Fluoropolymer-based processing additives segment is the second largest. Fluoropolymer-based processing additives are frequently used in the plastic industry to process polyethylene and polypropylene. However, the use of FPA is not exclusively limited to blown film extrusion. These are widely used in film production, pipe extrusion, blow molding, wire and cable production, co-extrusion, fiber spinning in mLLDPE (metallocene Linear Low-Density Polyethylene), LLDPE, LDPE, MDPE, HDPE, PEX (Cross-linked polyethylene), and PP (polypropylene). Additionally, these additives are applicable in the extrusion of polymers, like PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), and PA (polyamides). They can be found in several products, including flooring tubing, beverage bottles, building materials, automobile engine hose, and wire and cable jacketing.
Plastic type-wise, the global plastic additives market is categorized into polyethylene, polystyrene, polypropylene, polyamides, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, and others. The polyethylene (PE) segment holds the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period. The shapes of polyethylene vary depending on its density. PE is transparent in its natural state, but it turns white and translucent as the crystalline rises. Stretch films, plastic bags, and plastic bottles all use it. Coloring agents can also be included. By adding hydrophilic elements to the polymer chain, biodegradable polyethylene additives improve the biodegradation of plastic. The biodegradability enables PE to abide by the stringent environmental regulations in place all over the world. Due to its low production costs, producers now favor polyethylene over many other types of plastic. As a result, a significant factor driving the usage of plastic additives in PE is the global increase in demand for industrial packaging and film packaging.
The polystyrene segment is the second largest. The versatile plastic polystyrene creates a wide range of consumer goods. As a hard-solid plastic, it is frequently used in items that need to be clear, like food packaging and lab equipment. Polystyrene can be used to create toys, gardening tools, appliances, electronics, and automobile parts when combined with different additives, colors, or plastics. Polystyrene additives include antioxidants, UV stabilizers, processing lubes, anti-stats, and flame retardants. Polystyrene is commonly used in items such as disposable razors, disposable food containers and utensils, high-end displays, toys, and housewares.
Additionally, additives are also added to polystyrene to decrease the blocking of the surface of polystyrene films and thereby reduce surface friction of the surface. Polystyrene is an excellent insulator with significant building, construction, and packaging applications. Growing robust demand for consumer electronics, such as televisions, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, is anticipated to drive the demand for polystyrene over the forecast period.
Based on the application, the global plastic additive market is classified into Packaging, Consumer Goods, Construction, Automotive, and Other. Among these applications, packaging possesses market supremacy.
The packaging segment holds the largest share in the global plastic additives market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. The packaging sector accounts for the majority of the global market for plastics and their additives. The packaging industry primarily uses polymers to package and decorate finished goods. Specific polymer characteristics, such as their light weight, availability in various colors, low reactivity, chemical and moisture resistance, etc., have led to a surge in the use of polymers in the packaging business. Many plastic additives are employed in many types of packaging, from the food and beverage, personal care, and healthcare industries, leading to market growth.
Consumer goods applications hold the second-largest demand for plastic additives globally after the packaging sector. Additives are used for plastic consumer goods, from electronics to footwear. The increasing preferences of consumers toward comfort-based and user-friendly gadgets are driving the global market for hand-held electronic devices. Thus, there is a great requirement for the enhanced properties of materials, such as flame retardancy and insulation. OEMs are seeking materials with high strength, scratch resistance, soft touch, flame retardancy, and lightweight materials. Plastics are generally used for enclosure in electronic products. Some plastics' electronic components are PCB terminal blocks, electrical connectors, fuses and fuse holders, RF products, knobs, switches, phones, laptop cases, etc. The plastics that are used in the making of toys are ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), PVC (polyvinyl chloride), PC (polycarbonate), PE (polyethylene), and PP (polypropylene). Additionally, many sports industry products are made using different types of plastics that use additives. Hence, the above factors will likely affect the demand for plastic additives in consumer goods applications during the forecast period.
Depending on the region, the global plastic additive market is analyzed in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Asia-Pacific holds the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period. The primary reason Asia-Pacific is growing significantly is China's presence. China, in this region, is not only the largest economy in terms of GDP, but also the packaging is one of the most significant end-user segments for plastic additives. Furthermore, China has the largest electronics production base that necessitates plastic additives leading to market growth. In addition, India, as a developing economy, possesses several potentials for upcoming market growth.
Europe holds the second-largest market share. This market is anticipated to reach USD 1466 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 3.32%. The chief ground behind the growth of this region is Germany. Development was supported by increased public investment, increased private consumption, and booming construction. The forecast period is expected to continue expanding the plastic packaging market. In addition, this region has an aerospace manufacturing industry that necessitates plastic additives leading to market growth.
North America is the third largest region. The primary cause behind North America's growth is the US's existence, as it is the largest and most powerful economy worldwide. Due to the nation's electronics industry's quick speed of innovation, technological improvement, and R&D operations, there is a considerable demand for newer and faster electronic products. The country's medical device market is the world's most significant medical device market in the healthcare sector. Due to the presence of a sizable aerospace and military industry, the aerospace industry is also one of the nation's main end-users of plastic additives.
List of key global plastic additive market manufacturers profiled
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