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Ban on phthalate-based plasticizers in consumer goods, food packaging and medical products leads to development of bio-based alternatives

Ban on phthalate-based plasticizers in consumer goods, food packaging and medical products leads to development of bio-based alternatives

01-Jun-17

Plasticizers are compounds incorporated in a polymer matrix to increase its flexibility and improve the chemical properties of the plastic product. Addition of a plasticizer can lower the glass transition temperature, melt viscosity and elastic modulus of the polymer. Earlier phthalate-based plasticizer represented 85% of the total plasticizers market. However, stringent government regulations and rising health concerns of the consumers, stimulated the demand of bio-plasticizers. In order to assure sustainability, end users are looking for safe, bio-degradable and non-phthalate-based plasticizers. Bio-based plasticizers are widely used as additives in PVCs. They are used in PVC resins, PVC cables, vinyl flooring, wire jacketing, automobile parts etc. The use of bio-plasticizers for wire applications can enable cable manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) reduce carbon gas emission by up to 40%. Also, plasticizers are the most commonly used additives used in plastic industries. Bio-based plasticizers are produced from vegetable raw materials and are used as an alternative of petroleum based plasticizers. The raw material used for production of bio-plasticizers are castor oil, soybean oil, palm oil and starch. Epoxidized Soybean Oil (ESBO) are the most commonly used bio-plasticizer. ESBO is manufactured from soybean oil through a process of epoxidation. ESBO is one of the most preferred additives in PVC gasket used particularly in food packaging.
Growth in end user industries in developing nations such as India, China, Brazil etc. are expected to drive the bio-plasticizers market during the forecasted period, as per Future Market Insights. Tight supply of harmful phthalate such as BBP, DEP, DBP, DOP and increasing consumer awareness are driving the growth of bio-plasticizers. Ban on phthalate-based plasticizers in consumer goods, food packaging material and medical products have led to the development of eco-friendly bio-based plasticizers. Higher cost of bio-plasticizers as compared to phthalate-based plasticizers is a key challenge faced by bio-plasticizers market. These bio-plasticizers, when used for cable manufacturing, offer various advantages in terms of electrical and temperature performance as compared to traditional plasticizers.
On the basis of product type, the global Bio-Plasticizers market is segmented into epoxidized soybean oil (ESBO), citrates, castor oil, succinic acid. On the basis of application, the global Bio-Plasticizers market is segmented into packaging materials, medical devices, consumer goods, wire & cables, building & construction,
automotive. Currently, North America serves as a largest market for bio-plasticizers due to flourishing sectors such as medical devices, chemicals and consumer goods. Europe is estimated to be matured markets. North America and Europe account for a larger share in the market due to growth in manufacturing and healthcare industry. Various efforts made by different regulatory authorities to promote environmental friendly products have led to increase in the demand of bio-plasticizers in developed regions. Middle East & Africa bio-plasticizers market are still at a nascent stage. However, emerging countries such as UAE and Brazil are expected to have a significant market share in the near future. Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) is estimated to be the fastest growing market in terms of market share by value, particularly in medical, wires & cables, and packaging materials applications. 

As per Allied Market Research, the global market was valued at US$1364 million in 2015, and is projected to reach $1,709 mln by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 3.3% from 2016 to 2022. The epoxides type held more than half of the global bio plasticizers market in 2015. Bio plasticizers are additives applied in polymers & other materials to enhance their softness, flexibility, and processability. The main raw materials for these include soybean oil, linseed oil, castor oil, and more. The global bio plasticizers market is segmented based on type, application, and geography. The application segment includes flooring & walls, film & sheet coverings, wires & cables, coated fabrics, consumer goods, and others. The others segment includes medical, inks, waxes, sports related articles, and adhesives & sealants.
Emerging applications of bio plasticizers in various end-user industries and high demand for bio-based & non-phthalate plasticizers in different regions are major factors expected to drive the market growth. However, high cost of these restrain the global bio plasticizer market. Increase in demand for bio plasticizers for certain products, such as personal care cosmetics, toys, food contact materials, health care commodities, and others, are expected to create growth opportunities for various players in the market. Also, R&D on to obtain beneficial and economical bio plasticizers is anticipated to bring great opportunity for the market.
Epoxides and glycerol esters are expected to grow at the highest CAGR throughout the analysis period, due to their remarkable properties including non-toxic nature, high efficiency, improved heat stability, lower volatility, and others. These are employed in automotive, adhesive & sealants, paints & coatings, and other end uses. In 2015, the epoxide bio plasticizers covered maximum share of the market in terms of revenue followed by sebacates-a castor oil based plasticizer. This trend is expected to be followed during the forecast period as well, owing to the superior properties and ease of availability of these bio plasticizers. Another factor that supports their development is lesser cost compared to other types of bio plasticizers. The main applications employing bio plasticizers include floorings & walls and wires & cables. Moreover, the wires & cables application segment accounted for second largest market share in 2015, and is expected to grow at the CAGR of 2.7% during the forecast period.
In 2015, Asia-Pacific and LAMEA collectively accounted for more than half of the global bio plasticizers market, with lucrative CAGR and are expected to continue this trend. This is attributed to upsurge in construction & packaging industries, specifically in China, India, Brazil, and other developing economies. Growth in urbanization & industrialization are the main reasons for growth of the bio plasticizers market in Asia-Pacific.
The major companies profiled in the report include Bioamber Inc., DuPont, DOW Chemical Company, Emery Oleochemicals, Evonik Industries, Lanxess AG, Matrìca S.p.A., Myriant Corporation, PolyOne Corporation, and Vertellus Holdings LLC.

Bioplasticizers are biologically derived substances added to polymers to make them more pliable and workable. Plasticizers are essential to modify a polymer’s characteristics to suit the particular application in which it is going to be used. The rising awareness about the adverse effects of using conventional plasticizers has led several key consumers of polymers to switch to bioplasticizers, leading to a steady surge in the global demand. This is likely to be the key driver for the global bioplasticizers market in the coming years.
As per Transparency Market Research, the key driver for the global bioplasticizers market is the awareness about the health risks of conventionally used plasticizers, such as phthalates. Phthalates are readily soluble in organic solvents such as saliva, which makes them dangerous when used in objects that come in close proximity to infants. If ingested, they can hamper the development of infants considerably, while adults may also face adverse effects from overexposure to phthalates. The lack of such concerns is thus a key driver for the global bioplasticizers market, as polymers treated with bioplasticizers can be used in a wider range of applications, including food packaging and medical products. Medical devices, packaging materials, and consumer goods comprise some of the leading application segments of the global bioplasticizers market. The steady research environment backing these three sectors means the bioplasticizers industry could enjoy a consistent rise in demand in the coming years. The use of bioplasticizers in widely popular polymers such as PVC is likely to remain a crucial driver for the global bioplasticizers market in the coming years. Polymers like PVC are virtually unusable without the application of additives, but are used in a wide range of applications once prepared. The steady development of safer and more effective bioplasticizers has also boosted the market for polymers such as PVC, which has further driven research into polymer design.
Due to the sustained expansion and technological advancement of the medical devices and consumer goods industries, North America is the leading regional contributor to the global bioplasticizers market. The booming healthcare industry in North America is a key factor responsible for the sustained growth of the market in North America, as this has raised the funding available to the polymer industry. North America and Europe are likely to remain the prime regional segments of the market in the coming years. Another factor driving the consumption of bioplasticizers in developed regions such as North America and Europe is the steady government support to environment-friendly initiatives, which includes replacing conventional plasticizers with bioplasticizers. Due to their organic composition, they are entirely biodegradable, which constitutes a significant advantage over conventional inorganic plasticizers. However, the rising demand for consumer goods, medical materials, and wires and cables in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and the Middle East is also likely to remain a key driver for the global bioplasticizers market in the coming years. Emerging economies such as the UAE and Brazil could thus play a significant role in the trajectory of the global market in the coming years.

As per Market Research Future, the global bio plasticizers market expected to cross market US$ 1,900 mln by 2022, at a CAGR of 10.02 % from 2016 to 2022. Bio plasticizer are those polymer that exhibits less chemical and better bio-degradability. Plasticizer is a polymer additive that helps in increasing the polymer’s flexibility, elongation. Plasticizers are typically inactive organic materials with low vapor pressures and high boiling points.  
The development of PVC as a commercially used polymer is connected to the development of additives used in the plasticization process. The improvement of bio-plasticizers is driven by growing consumer perception and limited supply of harmful phthalate. When phthalate plasticizers are in direct contact with bodily fluids, they have been found to be a health concern. Since they are readily miscible in organic solvents like saliva and plasma, there is a chance of ingesting or absorbing them during common medical procedures. It is believed that once they are absorbed, they get stored in the fatty tissue of humans and thus, can be disturbing to the development of embryo or foetus. Hence, Eco-friendly bio-based plasticizers for food packaging material, consumer goods and medical products are being developed due to ban on phthalate-based plasticizers. Geographically, North-America is expected to be the largest market for bio plasticizers accounting more than one third of the total market. North-America is most prominent market and its market share has accounted for 38% of the total market in 2015, North America has been growing at faster pace due to rising manufacturing industries and demand for bio based plasticizers will aid in rise in growth of bio plasticizers market. U.S has accounted. APAC is one of the growing region due to its economies, cheap labour cost in APAC and economical material used for production process. Moreover, Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing market mainly due to medical, consumer goods, wires & cables, building & construction & others applications. While, Middle East & Africa regions are at the emerging stage in the bio plasticizers market. 

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