Global biodegradable polymer market to reach US$5.18 bln by 2020 at CAGR over 21%


The global biodegradable polymer market was valued at around US$1.68 bln in 2014 and is expected to reach approximately US$5.18 bln in 2020, growing at a CAGR of slightly above 21% between 2015 and 2020, as per Zion Market Research.
Polymers are compounds with a long chain of monomers formed by chemical reactions. Polymers are composed of a large number of repeating units and high molar mass. Biodegradable polymers are the polymers which can be broken down into simple, reusable, natural products after their intended purpose. Biodegradable polymers are non-toxic, environment-friendly, capable of maintaining integrity until degraded and their degradation rate can be controlled. Degradation of biodegradable polymers is mainly done with the help of micro organism. Biodegradable polymers after breakdown give the natural byproduct such as carbon dioxide, biomass, and water.

Rising demand for biodegradable and bio based products due to sustainable development policies and growing concern for use of environmentally friendly product is the main driver for the biodegradable polymer market. Government support to produce eco-friendly biodegradable polymer is also the key factor for the growth of the market. Escalating price of crude oil which is raw material for the production of the petroleum based polymer also helps in driving the demand of biodegradable polymers. However biodegradable polymers have few applications to replace synthetic petroleum based plastic materials and high manufacturing cost and failure in production of accurate biodegradable polymers may influence the market growth. Rising end-user applications and economical raw material price for biodegradable polymers are offering potential market opportunity in the years to come.

The biodegradable polymer market is segmented on the basis of type, application, and region. Polymers with hydrolyzable backbone, polymers with a carbon backbone and natural polymers are the types of biodegradable polymers. Polymers with a hydrolyzable backbone are classified as polyglycolic acid (PGA), polycaprolactone (PCL), polyamides, polyurethanes, others in which polyglycolic acid (PGA) is the widely used followed by polyamides and polyurethane. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is one kind of polymers with a carbon backbone, whereas amylopectin, starch, amylose, chitin and chitosan and others are types of natural polymers.  Starch based polymers are one of the leading segment due to easy availability, and extensive application in food packaging.
The biodegradable polymer has a broad range of applications in packaging, agriculture, and medicine. In a medical application, biodegradable polymers are used in the adhesive prevention, drugs delivery system, and surgical sutures. Further, biodegradable polymers are utilized in agriculture mulches, and starch based packaging, cellulose based packaging and PLA based packaging among others.

Geographically, Europe accounted for the majority of the market share for biodegradable polymers market in 2014. This was mainly due to a strong focus on green technology and manufacturing advancements in Germany and Netherlands. North America is anticipated to grow significantly during the estimated period, because of the awareness and increasing crude oil prices in this region. Further Asia Pacific is likely to accelerate the growth of the market due to growing industrialization in emerging economies like India and China.  
Some top profiles in biodegradable polymer markets are Cortec group, Mitsui Chemicals, BASF, BIOTEC GmbH& Co, Cereplast, Metabolix Inc. and FP International among others. These market players are focusing on improved production techniques of biodegradable polymers through R&D to expand their applications.

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