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W Europe, USA to drive biodegradable plastic packaging demand to US$8415 mln by 2019

W Europe, USA to drive biodegradable plastic packaging demand to US$8415 mln by 2019

The biodegradable plastic packaging market will be worth over US$8415 mln by 2019, driven by the key markets of Western Europe and North America, as per ASD Reports. Europe and North America dominated the global pharmaceutical packaging market accounting for more than 65% of the overall market in 2013. Within North America, USA will remain the largest consumer of biodegradable packaging. Country wise, USA is the top most consumer of biodegradable packaging product globally, and is also the largest market growing at a CAGR lower than the global average till 2019. Member countries of EU- Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Germany are the key markets in European biodegradable packaging market and constitute majority of the market size. In terms of growth rate, biodegradable plastic packaging is expected to register a double digit CAGR from 2013 to 2019. Food packaging and beverage packaging are the topmost packaging application segments by revenue wherein PLA and starch-based plastics dominate the biodegradable plastic packaging market and boxboard and corrugated board dominate the market for biodegradable paper packaging. While food packaging takes the topmost position in this segment with more than 70% share by value of biodegradable plastic packaging and more than 40% share by value of biodegradable paper packaging, maximum growth in the future is expected from the beverage packaging application segment. Plastics and polymers are the largest consumed raw material for the beverage packaging products and are being fast replaced by their biodegradable substitutes such as PLA, starch-based Plastics, PHA, and so on due to ease in design, excellent barriers properties, and cost-effectiveness. Biodegradable paper packaging market, being a highly mature and predominant market, shows higher market value share in the global biodegradable packaging market than the biodegradable plastic packaging market does. The biodegradable plastic packaging market on the other hand, being in its introductory phase, shows tremendous potential for growth and is expected to grow at a CAGR of double digits.
Another report by ASD Repprts estimated the global bioplastics market to reach US$3.94 bln in 2014. The report commented that ‘The availability of feedstock and the ability to produce bioplastics at a price low enough to make it economically viable, will be key to bioplastics displacing traditional plastics on a large scale. Bioplastics are still set to grow considerably in the next 10 years as it is a sustainable option, with biodegradable plastics having an even smaller impact on the environment’  The global bioplastics market is a small but significant sub-sector of the plastics industry. Bioplastics is an environment-friendly method that does not occupy landfills. Moreover, plants provide a cheap and sustainable alternative to their petroleum counterparts. In the coming years, economics, legislation and environmental issues will all drive policies to support sustainable growth across the nations and various industries. Bioplastics will have an increasing importance and market share in the plastics industry as well as a material in general over the coming years.

European Union's target of 80% reduction in plastic bag consumption by 2019 coupled with growing consumer awareness to create significant growth opportunities for biodegradable plastics market. According to a report by TechSci Research, the biodegradable plastics market in Europe is forecast to witness a robust CAGR of around 12% during 2014-19. The growth in the market is being supported by various factors such as increasing environmental awareness among consumers, strict implementation of environment friendly laws and growing R&D investments in the bioplastics sector by public as well as private sectors. European Union's decision to reduce overall consumption of thin plastic bags in the region by about 80% by 2019, compared to 2010 consumption levels, is expected to create huge growth opportunities for biodegradable plastics manufacturers over the next five years. The reduction in the usage of conventional plastic bags is expected to directly boost the consumption of biodegradable plastic bags in malls, retail outlets and loose packaging applications. Biodegradable plastics are largely used in some essential applications such as shopping bags, refuge bags, agricultural mulch films, loose packaging, bottles, etc. Presently, the average annual per capita consumption of plastic bags in Europe stands at 200 units. However, general consumer acceptability and preference for biodegradable plastics is increasing across all European countries. This growth is expected to be driven by growing popularity of biodegradable plastics in major end-user industries such as packaging, disposable plastic goods and textiles. Biodegradable plastics based on cellulose, starch and polylactic acid (PLA) dominate the biodegradable plastics market in Europe, accounting for more than 80% of the total market share, in volume terms, in 2013. With significant technological advancements driven by public private partnerships, biodegradable polymers have become cost-competitive with petroleum based products. These technology advancements have also facilitated improvements in various properties of biodegradable plastics over the recent years. "The demand for biodegradable plastics is witnessing a significant rise from conventional end-user industries such as packaging, agriculture and textile. Nevertheless, use of biodegradable plastics, especially in European countries, is also increasing in other niche segments such as medical implants and drug delivery systems. In orthopedics, biodegradable plastics are finding use in joint replacements, fracture fixation plates, bone defect fillers, artificial tendons, ligaments, bone cements, etc. Realizing the benefits offered by biodegradable plastics, several research studies are underway to improve the commercial viability of these niche applications. The future of biodegradable plastics in Europe is expected to be bright due to imposition of stringent laws mandating significant reduction in plastic bag consumption in the region over the next five years," said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director, TechSci Research.

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