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Driven by APAC demand, antimicrobial plastic market to grow at CAGR of 10% until end of decade

Driven by APAC demand, antimicrobial plastic market to grow at CAGR of 10% until end of decade

The global antimicrobial plastic market is projected to reach around US$3.6 bln by 2020 and register a CAGR of 10% between 2015 and 2020 in terms of value, as per Markets and Markets. Antimicrobial plastics are polymers which are infused with antimicrobial agents or additives to reduce or constrain the growth of microorganisms such as algae, bacteria, and fungi on any plastic products to maintain hygiene and its increase shelf life. Antimicrobial plastics are used in a variety of applications ranging from healthcare, construction, packaging containers to consumer & electronics appliances, business machines and automotive parts.
The Asia-Pacific region is projected to dominate the antimicrobial plastics market and is anticipated to account for the highest growth rate in this period. China is estimated to be the top consumer of antimicrobial plastics in the region in 2014. The US is currently the largest antimicrobial plastics consumer globally but is anticipated to be out casted by the emerging BRIC countries in the near future. Many top market players are shifting their production and distribution business in Asia-Pacific and South America to tap the growing market demand of antimicrobial plastics in these regions. Packaging and Healthcare segment are the two major applications of antimicrobial plastics having major market share in 2014 and is projected to dominate the global market by 2020 mainly due to the growth of innovative ways to proactively inhibit microbial growth on surfaces of plastic products and medical equipment. The automotive application is also showing an upward trend due to the growing replacements of conventional materials such as metals and glass by plastics. Growing consumer awareness about health-related infections and increasing regulations in North America and Europe to use products & devices of antimicrobial coatings so as minimize contact with pathogens and spreading of any infections is projected to drive the global antimicrobial plastics demand for healthcare application. Substantial improvements in the standard of living of the consumers have resulted in increased demand for more hygienic and sophisticated plastic products. Consumers today are well aware about health-related issues and pathogenic diseases and hence demand for products having antimicrobial properties to prevent spread of any harmful effect of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae. This results in increased consumption of antimicrobial plastic products for applications in construction, packaging, and healthcare segments, thus propelling the growth of global antimicrobial plastics market.

As per, the market for antimicrobial plastics is estimated to grow on account of growing plastic consumption primarily in Asia-Pacific and South America regions and also increasing use of antimicrobial packaging in food and pharmaceutical applications globally. The flourishing packaging and healthcare application in emerging economies and growing consumer awareness regarding health concerns are expected to act as budding opportunities for this market. However, economic slowdown and absence of stringent regulations for using antimicrobial plastics in some regions are some of the major reasons restricting the growth of antimicrobial plastics globally.

The US antimicrobial plastics market is expected to reach US$1227.4 mln by 2020, as per Transparency Market Research. This market was valued at US$662.3 mln in 2013, thus expanding at a CAGR of 9.3% during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020. In terms of volume, the antimicrobial plastics market in USA stood at 100,062.1 tons in 2013.
Antimicrobial plastics help reduce deterioration and increase the lifespan of medical products. Thus, growth in the medical devices market in USA is likely to be one of the primary factors driving demand for antimicrobial plastics in the country over the next few years. Furthermore, high rate of hospital-acquired infections is projected to boost market growth. Rising demand for antimicrobial plastics in packaging and subsequent growth of the packaging market in the U.S. is estimated to fuel market growth. However, volatility in prices of raw materials is expected to hamper antimicrobial plastic market growth, as it adversely affects profit margins of manufacturers and increases the overall costs of the already-expensive plastics. Product innovation, an area of focus of several manufacturers, is anticipated to open up new opportunities for market growth. Healthcare was the largest application segment, accounting for approximately 44% of the market share in 2013. Additionally, it is estimated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period, led by rising demand for antimicrobial solutions in the medical devices market. Furthermore, higher number of patients with hospital-acquired infections is projected to augment demand for antimicrobial plastics. Packaging and personal care segments are likely to witness above-average growth during the forecast period. Automotive and building & construction are niche market segments of the antimicrobial plastics market owing to the high cost of the plastics. The antimicrobial plastics market is fragmented in nature due to the presence of a number of manufacturers. Additionally, there is a low threat of backward or forward integration of antimicrobial plastic manufacturing companies in the market owing to the complex manufacturing and capital intensive nature of the market. Certain companies such as BASF and Bayer are integrated across two or more stages of the antimicrobial plastics market. Key players in the market include The Dow Chemical Company, Lonza, BASF, AkzoNobel, Bayer, DuPont and Sherwin-Williams. Product innovation and development of cheaper antimicrobial solutions are the points of focus of the manufacturers. Market share of these companies is estimated to decrease in the next few years due to increasing demand for antimicrobial plastics.

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