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Starch-Based Plastics Market

Starch-Based Plastics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Thermoplastic Starch, Starch Polymer Blends), By End-User (Automotive and Transportation, Agriculture, Packaging, Consumer Goods, Others) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRPP3725DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 9.43%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 1,804 Million
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 4059 Million
Largest Market Europe Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
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Market Overview

The starch-based plastics market size was valued at USD 1,804 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 4,059 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.43% during the forecast period (2023–2031).

Starch-based plastics are intricate mixtures of starch and compostable or biodegradable plastics, including polylactic acid, polybutylene adipate terephthalate, polybutylene succinate, polycaprolactone, and polyhydroxyalkanoates. These complex blends improve water resistance and processing and mechanical properties. Starch-based plastics can be used in various applications since they can be incorporated with multiple petroleum-based polymers or biopolymers to create unique composite materials. These composite materials can then be injection molded or extruded using standard processing machinery. In general, starch-based plastics are more cost-competitive than alternative bioplastics. They can accommodate many physical characteristics, including tensile strength and heat tolerance. Starch composites can also incorporate recycled plastics.

Market Dynamics

Global Starch-Based Plastics Market Drivers:

Increasing Demand for Starch-Based Plastics in Food Packaging

The packaging business has long relied heavily on traditional plastics; however, the industry's dynamic nature has shifted from conventional plastics to bio-based plastics. With stringent government legislation on traditional plastics, rising concerns over environmental pollution, and changing consumer preferences have increased demand for biodegradable packaging materials. In addition, biodegradable packaging materials are mainly driven by increased food packaging industry consumption, accounting for around 50% of the global biodegradable plastics market. This growth is primarily attributed to the restrictions on plastic bags. 

Starch-based polymers find application in food packaging and edible films owing to increased shelf life, reduced food loss, and enhanced organoleptic characteristics of food. Furthermore, starch-based edible films have found good adaptability in food packaging as they are odorless, non-toxic, and biodegradable. They display very low permeability to oxygen and are proposed for food protection to improve quality and shelf life without impairing consumer acceptability. In addition, starch-based plastics can be transformed into a foamed material and pressed into disposable trays and dishes, which can dissolve in water and be consumed by the microbic environment. Thus, the increased demand for starch-based plastics in food packaging applications is expected to drive the growth of the global starch-based plastics market during the forecast period.

Stringent Environmental Regulations Regarding Traditional Plastic Materials

The use of plastic is increasing in our day-to-day life. Conventionally, plastic is derived from petroleum products, which originate from fossil fuels. Plastics are widely used across many end-user industries, such as automotive, construction, packaging, medical, and pharmaceuticals. In addition, single-use and non-biodegradable plastics are commonly used in all these industries. Different types of bioplastics to be listed are starch-based plastics, cellulose-based plastics, protein-based plastics, bio-derived polyethylene, genetically modified bioplastics, and lipid-derived polymers. They are also used to manufacture carry bags.

Non-biodegradable plastics affect the smooth functioning of natural resources such as water bodies and air. The burning of plastic leads to the emission of the harmful ecosystem and the quality of water. In addition, plastic disposition under the soil restricts water penetration and hampers the agricultural industry. To prevent and overcome these issues, governments across the globe have implemented regulations on the use of fossil fuel-based plastics. Thus, the increasing provisions related to the use of conventional plastics due to environmental concerns, especially global warming, are expected to drive the demand for plastics manufactured from bio-based chemicals and boost the global starch-based plastics market during the forecast period.

Global Starch-Based Plastics Market Restraint:

Limited Production Capacity

Bio-based plastics represent around 1% of the more than 400 million tons of plastics annually. The presence of limited feedstock, ongoing research on the conversion of bio-based feedstocks, and technological constraints have led to the limited production capacity of starch-based plastics. Additionally, the overall market is in the initial phases, and various manufacturers have invested heavily in establishing production capacities in the coming future. In addition, it is estimated that bio-based plastic costs around 30 to 35% more than traditional plastics; in some cases, it is as high as 2-3 times the synthetic ones. 

The high production cost is dependent on factors such as the scalability of the producer, techniques used to produce the material, and availability of expensive raw materials, which affects the company’s profitability. As a result, the producer raises the cost of supplies to remain profitable. Cost concerns also hinder the expansion of new markets. Therefore, a certain degree of growth restriction on the global starch-based plastics market is anticipated due to limited production capacity.

Global Starch-Based Plastics Market Opportunities:

Increasing Demand from Emerging Economies

Asia-Pacific is the world’s largest bio-based plastics market production hub and has been growing significantly. The region comprises the most dynamic economies, including China, Japan, South Korea, and India. In 2019, Asia-Pacific bio-plastic production capacity was estimated to be approximately 0.5 million tons, which is around 45% of global bioplastic production. The region is also developing an increasing number of new production capacities. Furthermore, Thailand and Malaysia have expressed the ambition to become the bioplastics production hub of South Asia and are taking concrete steps in the form of investments and joint ventures. The Asia-Pacific starch-based plastic is growing due to the rising GDP, growing packaging industry, and increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, thereby creating lucrative opportunities for the market to grow.

Regional Analysis

Europe Dominates the Global Market

Based on region, the global starch-based plastics market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. 

Europe is the most significant shareholder in the global starch-based plastics market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.57% during the forecast period. Government regulations with strict requirements for lowering carbon footprint and the presence of cutting-edge research and development centers are both responsible for market growth. For instance, businesses are prohibited from providing plastic bags for fruit and vegetable purchases, as well as cheese, meat, and fish sold at supermarket counters, by Article 75 of the French Energy Transition Law. In addition, bags made of home compostable bioplastic, with a minimum content of 30% renewable raw materials, and those made starting in 2025 with a minimum range of 60% renewable raw materials, are exempt from this prohibition. 
Furthermore, 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 and transportation, and medical devices, among others, is also expected to propel the market. In addition, Europe's most considerable portion belonged to Germany, followed by France and the U.K. As an alternative to non-biodegradable plastics, businesses are concentrating on bioplastics in the region. For instance, the Bio-Flex blends that FKuR introduced in 2017 comply with the applicable standards of the French Energy Transition Law for plastic bags.

Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.13% over the forecast period. The market expansion can be attributed to the growing urbanization and increasing industrialization in the developing economies of Asia-Pacific, particularly in India and other South East Asian countries. The region's high population density and widespread use of starch-based bioplastics drive market expansion. Furthermore, China dominates the Asia-Pacific market for starch-based plastics, producing more than half of the region's total volume and market value. About 20% of the world's production capacity, which has increased by more than 20% over the previous five years, is located in China. This growth is mainly due to the rising government initiative to develop sustainable and environment-friendly products. Additionally, many domestic enterprises have embarked on new capacity or expansion projects for biodegradable plastics under favorable national policies and an expanding range of applications. In addition, India has witnessed the highest growth over the forecast period, owing to the country's surging demand from the packaging, agriculture, and automotive industries.

North America is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. The established presence of major end-user industries primarily drives the market in North America. The regional market is also characterized by a significant desire for sustainability, which has increased packaging sustainability demand. The U.S. accounted for a considerable share of the starch-based plastics market in North America during the forecast period. It is also projected that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's initiatives to promote ecologically friendly goods will boost demand for bioplastics in North America. 

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Type
  1. Thermoplastic Starch
  2. Starch Polymer Blends
By End-User
  1. Automotive and Transportation
  2. Agriculture
  3. Packaging
  4. Consumer Goods
  5. Others
Company Profiles Kuraray Co. Ltd Rodenburg Biopolymers Biome Bioplastics Limited Wittenburg Group Nihon Cornstarch Corporation Toray Industries Inc Corbion N.V Novamont S.p.A BIOTEC GmbH & Co BioLogiQ Inc NUREL Grabio Greentech Sunar NP Cardia Bioplastics Multibax Public Company Limited AGRANA BETEILIGUNGS AG Green Dot FuturaMatSOLANYL BP
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 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 starch-based plastics market is segmented into type and end-user.

Based on type, the global starch-based plastics market is divided into thermoplastic starch and starch polymer blends. 

The thermoplastic starch segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.18% during the forecast period. Thermoplastic starch (TPS) is produced when starch is mixed with water or plasticizers such as glycerin or sorbitol. It is widely used to manufacture packaging materials such as films, bags, disposable dishes and plates, loose-fill, antistatic, formed protective packaging, and agriculture. Although the disrupted structures are more complex than synthetic thermoplastics, thermoplastic starch (TPS) has garnered interest due to its processability, which is similar to thermoplastic with temperature and shear.

Starch polymer blends are polymers with starch that enhance their physical properties and expand their application areas. This segment is further segmented into polylactic acid (PLA), polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT), polycaprolactone (PCL), polybutylene succinate (PBSA), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), and others. Most of the market is held by polylactic acid (PLA), one of these categories.

Based on end-user, the global starch-based plastics market is divided into automotive and transportation, agriculture, packaging, consumer goods, and others. 

The packaging segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.88% over the forecast period. Starch-based plastics are extensively used in the food packaging industry in producing bottles, carrier bags, disposable foam dishes and trays, cups, and biodegradable films to enhance the shelf life of food. Some of the most popular bioplastics used for packaging are starch blends, PLA, PBAT, PET, PE, and PBS. 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. Thus, it is anticipated that their demand for packaging will continue to be very high over the projected period. 

Furthermore, manufacturers are forced to employ bioplastics for packaging due to consumer preferences for environmentally friendly packaging and the global landfill problem. The demand for plastic film in the packaging industry is increasing due to its growing use in food packaging and pharmaceutical and medical packaging applications in developing countries. Furthermore, the high consumption of packaged food is also expected to contribute to the growth of the packaging segment during the forecast period.

Starch-based plastics are widely accepted in agriculture in producing mulch films and other agricultural applications such as greenhouse and nursery films. The expansion in this segment is primarily attributed to the exponentially rising population across the globe, factors such as rapid industrialization and urbanization, and concerns regarding food security resulting in higher demand for agricultural products. The continuous growth in food production and crop cultivation is expected to create significant demand for plastic films during the forecast period.

Market Size By Type

Recent Developments

  • January 2023- Kuraray announced its decision to revise the price of GENESTAR™ heat-resistant polyamide resin for domestic and overseas shipments on or after February 1, 2023.GENESTAR™ is a polyamide engineering plastic developed from a unique monomer, and its applications range from electrical and electronic parts to automotive parts.
  • November 2022- Kuraray Co. Ltd. developed the new product using recycled raw materials in the MAGIC TAPE™ lineup of polyester hook-and-loop fasteners. The product was launched in November 2022 for apparel and other manufacturers as a sustainable material to help realize a circular economy.

Top Key Players

Kuraray Co. Ltd Rodenburg Biopolymers Biome Bioplastics Limited Wittenburg Group Nihon Cornstarch Corporation Toray Industries Inc Corbion N.V Novamont S.p.A BIOTEC GmbH & Co BioLogiQ Inc NUREL Grabio Greentech Sunar NP Cardia Bioplastics Multibax Public Company Limited AGRANA BETEILIGUNGS AG Green Dot FuturaMatSOLANYL BP Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the size of Starch-Based Plastics Market in 2022?
The global Starch-Based Plastics Market size was valued at USD 1804 million in 2022.
Europe region has the highest growth rate in the Starch-Based Plastics Industry.
With stringent government legislation on traditional plastics, rising environmental concerns, and changing consumer preferences, demand for biodegradable packaging materials has risen dramatically.
The key players in the global starch-based plastics Industry are Kuraray Co. Ltd, Rodenburg Biopolymers, Biome Bioplastics Limited, Wittenburg Group, Nihon Cornstarch Corporation, Toray Industries Inc.
The global market growing at a CAGR of 9.43% from (2023–2031).

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