Bioplastics and biodegradable plastics are often interchanged incorrectly, as some, but not all bioplastics will biodegrade fully. As per Companiesandmarkets.com, the bioplastics market is growing rapidly, with a 41% CAGR forecast for the period 2010-2015. This raises the 2010 demand of 571,712 metric tons to over 3 mln tons in 2015. Early adoption of bioplastics and subsequent interest in the technology was driven by rising concern over environmental issues, particularly with regard to product disposal and global warming.
Bioplastics are plastics which are created by synthesizing renewable organic materials, or materials containing renewable organic matter, via a chemical or biological process. They are often made from biomass and food crops such as corn, soybeans and sugarcane. The high availability of these crops in the US has lead to the country's dominance of the market, despite the fact that at the early stages, European adoption of bioplastics was far higher than that of the US. The 2010 European bioplastics market saw demand of 175,320 metric tons, compared with US demand of 258,180 metric tons. These two markets are set to expand at a rate of 33.9% and 41.4% respectively, to reach 753,760 and 1,459,040 metric tons in 2015.Key applications and end users of bioplastics include the automotive, building, construction, electrical/electronic, medical and packaging sectors. The following resin chemistries are studied in detail within the report: Polylactic acid, thermoplastic starch, bio-polyamides (nylons), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), bio-polyols, cellulosics, bio- polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT), bio-polyethylene and bio-bottle-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET).