|The biodegradable plastic packaging market is gradually gaining significance in the vast global packaging industry. Whilst the recession impacted demand for all types of packaging; upcoming environmental issues and diminishing fossil reserves have raised concerns, resulting in steady growth for biodegradable plastic packaging. Visiongain expects the global packaging market and in particular, the biodegradable plastic packaging market to demonstrate solid growth. Visiongain calculates that the global biodegradable plastic packaging market will reach US$1.85 bln in 2011. The emerging economies, which in total maintained positive growth during the crisis, will continue to register strong growth, driving demand for sustainable, eco-friendly biodegradable plastic packaging products in the coming decade. Rising concerns over environmental hazards, carbon footprint emission and waste reduction targets specified by different countries and the trend towards 'green packaging', are the factors likely to boost the market for biodegradable plastic packaging solutions. Contributing further to the growth of the biodegradable plastic packaging market are the factors including consumers and retailers acceptance for eco-friendly packaging; reformation in regulatory trends; support for biobags and biodegradable packaging from retailers; and escalating oil prices boosting the demand for alternative packaging materials. The biodegradable plastic packaging market was immune to the recent economic downturn as consumers' increasing concerns about personal, as well as environmental, health and wellness continues to drive the need for biodegradable packaging innovations. Moreover, technological advancements related to lightweight packaging will further boost the demand in the industry. Furthermore, key industry players and manufacturers are opting for better materials made from renewable sources for packaging purposes thus keeping them out of the landfills. Environmental-friendliness and sustainability have become basic qualifying criterions for all packaging products. In this regard, the biodegradable plastic packaging market is at a distinctive advantage since biodegradable plastic naturally has properties which make it one of the easiest materials to recover and recycle, or else decompose in nature. Biodegradable plastic packaging has a competitive advantage over other packaging materials, which makes it easier to recycle, reduce and reuse to raise its eco-friendly profile. Vision gain forecasts the biodegradable plastic packaging industry to exhibit solid growth, driven by three major drivers - escalating demand for environmentally friendly, sustainable packaging of goods, healthier lifestyles worldwide and rapidly developing emerging markets with growing consumer demand for biodegradable plastic packaging across all submarkets.
Global demand for biodegradable and bio-based plastics will more than triple to over 1 mln tons in 2015, valued at US$2.9 bln, as per Research and Research. Bioplastics have moved past the initial phase of market introduction and are now experiencing robust increases in demand in virtually all parts of the world. Gains are being fueled by a number of factors, including consumer preferences for environmentally sustainable materials, improved performance of bioplastic resins with respect to traditional plastics, and the introduction of commodity plastics produced from bio-based sources. Ultimately, however, price considerations will be the main driver of bioplastic market success, and rising petroleum costs may allow some bioplastic resins to achieve price parity with conventional plastics by the end of the decade. Starch-based resins, PLA will pace biodegradables. Biodegradable plastics accounted for 90% of the world bioplastics market in 2010. Excellent growth is forecast for the two leading biodegradable plastics, starch-based resins and polylactic acid (PLA), both of which will more than double in demand through 2015. More rapid growth is expected for PLA, which will benefit from advancements in compounding polymerization technology, as well as its relatively low cost compared to other bioplastics. Fastest gains for biodegradable plastics, however, will be seen for polyhydroxy-alkanoate (PHA) resins, which are just beginning to enter the commercial market.
As per Markets and Markets, the increasing demand for renewable and bio-based materials and shift in consumer preference to eco-friendly packaging are driving the market for global biodegradable plastics. The global biodegradable plastics market in terms of volume is expected to grow from 664,000 tons in 2010 to 2330,000 tons in 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 20.24% from 2011 to 2016. Amongst all the market segments, the starch-based plastics market commands the largest share in terms of volume, while PLA-based plastics lead the market in terms of revenue. Packaging forms the largest application market due to increased consumer awareness for sustainable packaging. The packaging application contributed over 50% of the global biodegradable plastics market in 2010. In PLA-based plastics, textiles applications are expected to have the highest CAGR of 23.16% from 2011 to 2016. Europe accounted for the major share for global biodegradable plastics market estimated to be 40.6% in 2010. This was primarily due to the fact that focus on sustainability is significant in Europe, especially in the European Union. Due to this, Europe is the most regulated market especially when it comes to certifying and commercializing new plastic products. North America forms the second largest biodegradable plastics market in the world. The market players are focusing in agreement and collaboration in order to share technical expertise in the production of biodegradable polymers, which therefore accounted for the highest share of the total competitive developments in the global biodegradable plastics market from May 2008 to April 2011.