Report: Biodegradable plastics demand growing 15 percent annually

PLASTICS NEWS REPORT

Published: April 22, 2013 11:00 am ET
Updated: April 22, 2013 11:02 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Sustainability, Materials, Materials Suppliers, Food service

HOUSTON – Consumer pressure and legislation such as plastic bag bans and global warming initiatives will increase demand for biodegradable plastics, according to a new report.

Demand in in North America, Europe and Asia will rise to nearly 525,000 metric tons in 2017, from 269,000 metric tons in 2012, representing an average annual growth rate of nearly 15 percent.

Food packaging and food-service products will drive demand for biodegradable polymers, with demand rising to double-digit levels in North America and Europe, according to Houston-based HIS Chemical. Foam packaging and compostable bags will be the top products, in terms of volume.

"The biodegradable polymers market is still young and very small, but the numbers are off the charts in terms of expected demand growth and potential for these materials in the coming years," said Michael Malveda, principal analyst of specialty chemicals at IHS Chemical and the report's lead author, in a news release.

"Food packaging, dishes and cutlery constitute a major market for the product because these materials can be composted with the food waste without sorting, which is a huge benefit to the waste management effort and to reducing food waste and packaging disposal in landfills. Increasing legislation and consumer pressures are also encouraging retailers and manufacturers to seek out these biodegradable products and materials."

In 2012, Europe accounted for about 55 percent of global demand for biodegradable polymers, followed by North America at 29 percent and Asia at 16 percent.

"A couple of main barriers to these biodegradable polymers are price and performance, which will become less significant as processing technologies improve, more applications for their use are developed, and production increases," Malveda said. "Regulations such as plastic bag bans are being enacted in many countries, and this stimulates new research investments for alternative materials and new uses."

Grown of biodegradable polymers in Asia has been slowed by high prices for the raw materials, he said.

Polylactic acid currently accounts for about 47 percent of global biodegradable plastics demand, followed by starch-based plastics at 41 percent, according to the report.


Comments

Report: Biodegradable plastics demand growing 15 percent annually

PLASTICS NEWS REPORT

Published: April 22, 2013 11:00 am ET
Updated: April 22, 2013 11:02 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

RPC expansion provides the space needed for continued growth

September 22, 2014 11:46 am ET

MORGANTOWN, PA. — Success, over time, created a challenge for RPC Bramlage-Wiko USA Inc. in this rural Eastern Pennsylvania town....    More

Image

The milk man will be toting plastic bottles to UK homes in the future

September 22, 2014 11:17 am ET

The United Kingdom's largest dairy company is about to replace its final glass bottles with plastic.    More

Image

Poland's Boryszew to work with Mitsui on lightweight auto parts

September 22, 2014 10:12 am ET

European plastics car parts maker Boryszew Group has signed a letter of intent to work with the Japanese investment and trading conglomerate Mitsui & ...    More

Image

Dunkin' Donuts looking at PP to replace foam cups

September 19, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Dunkin' Donuts is testing a new polypropylene coffee cup that the company believes could help boost recycling.    More

Image

Foster building medical polymers plant

September 19, 2014 1:39 pm ET

Foster Delivery Science is investing $8 million in a new plant in Putnam, Conn., for production of medical polymer blends, as well as rods, film or fi...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events