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 Materials, Sustainability, Food service, Packaging, Materials Suppliers

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

2014 leaves some resin firms in the black while others struggle

January 23, 2015 2:37 pm ET

On the financial side, 2014 was good for Hexcel Corp., so-so for Celanese Corp. and it could have been better for Omnova Solutions.    More

Image

Berry's rebranded Blue Clover expands packaging design reach

January 23, 2015 1:59 pm ET

As design director of Berry Plastics Corp.'s rebranded packaging design studio, Scott Fisher believes the new name of Blue Clover Studios cuts the...    More

Image

Clariant's ColorForward predicts future consumer trends

January 23, 2015 1:33 pm ET

Clariant International Ltd. is marking a decade of color forecasting with the 10th edition of its ColorForward program.    More

Image

The future for PolyOne is colorful

January 23, 2015 1:28 pm ET

PolyOne Corp. is writing four color stories for 2016.    More

Image

Mexico's Polymer Solutions looks to grow, expand offerings with name change

January 23, 2015 12:03 pm ET

British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc's Mexico distributor has changed its name from Plásticos Degradables...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events