The global biodegradable plastics market size is projected to grow from USD 7.7 billion in 2021 to USD 23.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 24.9% between 2021 and 2026.
Biodegradable plastics are defined as plastics that undergo biodegradation (a process in which the degradation results from the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae). The biodegradable plastics market includes both bio-based biodegradable plastics and synthetic/petrochemical-based biodegradable plastics. The market is witnessing significant growth across the world due to the increasing awareness and stringent government regulations about the use of non-biodegradable plastics. Biodegradable plastics are used in packaging, consumer goods, textiles and agriculture & horticulture among other end-use industries.
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PLA type will account for the major share of the market in terms of value
PLA is the largest type segment of the biodegradable plastics market, as it is used in various end-use industries such as packaging & bags and consumer goods. PLA is made from renewable resources, and it is compostable as well as biodegradable. It is derived from corn starch (in the US and Canada), tapioca roots, chips, or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in RoW). This makes PLA non-toxic and environmentally friendly material. The key applications of PLA are thermoformed products, namely, drink cups, takeaway food trays, containers, and planter boxes. It has good rigidity and allows for replacement of polystyrene and PET in such applications. PLA is being adopted rapidly as it is more economical to manufacture compared to other biodegradable plastics.
In terms of value, the packaging segment is projected to account for the largest share of the biodegradable plastics market, by end-use industry, during the forecast period.
Packaging is one of the end-use industries that dominates the biodegradable plastics market. Biodegradable plastics, have increasing demand to replace conventional plastics to address environmental concerns. Thermoset plastics (soy polyurethanes and unsaturated polyester resins) and thermoplastics (PLA, starch blends, PBS, PHA, and cellulose) are the two types of biodegradable plastics mainly used in the packaging industry. The use of biodegradable plastics is increasing in applications such as bottles, films, clamshell cartons, waste collection bags, carrier bags, mulch films, and food service ware.
Europe is estimated to be the fastest-growing market for biodegradable plastics between 2021 and 2026.
Europe is estimated to be the fastest-growing market for biodegradable plastics between 2021 and 2026. The political and economic conditions have driven the market penetration of biodegradable plastics. The strict government norms and economic conditions have also driven the biodegradable plastics market. These factors have been responsible for the development of biodegradable plastics with collaborative research in the region.
The key players in this market are BASF (Germany), NatureWorks (US), Total Corbion (Netherlands), Novamont (Italy), Biome Bioplastics (UK), Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Corporation (Japan), Toray Industries (Japan), Plantic Technologies (Australia), Danimer Scientific (US), and Fkur Kunstsoff (Germany).
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