According to the new market research report “Biodegradable Plastics Market by Type (PLA, Starch Blends, PHA, Biodegradable Polyesters), End Use Industry (Packaging, Consumer Goods, Textile, Agriculture & Horticulture), and Region (APAC, Europe, North America & RoW) – Global Forecast to 2026“, 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.
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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.
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.
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The global biodegradable plastics market size is projected to reach USD 23.3 billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 24.9% from 2021 to 2026. The increasing demand for biodegradable plastics in various end-use segments coupled with stringent regulatory and sustainability mandates concerning healthcare safety is driving the market for biodegradable plastics.
The increase in demand for biodegradable plastics and the growing industrial development in the emerging economies, such as APAC and South America, are driving the market. 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). These players have adopted various strategies such as investment & expansion, merger & acquisition, partnership & agreement, and new product launch in order to strengthen their market position. For instance, in April 2021, NatureWorks announced a new strategic partnership with IMA Coffee, which is a market leader in coffee handling processing and packaging. This partnership aims at increasing the market reach for high-performing compostable K-cup in North America.
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BASF is one of the leading market players. The functional materials & solutions segment produces biodegradable plastics for various applications such as automotive manufacturing, packaging, sports & leisure, medical technology, construction, solar thermal energy, and photovoltaics. The company produces a fully synthetic biodegradable polyester. In addition, the company currently produces Ecoflex (PBAT), which is a synthetic biodegradable polyester. The company blends PLA with Ecoflex to produce Ecovio. It has adopted joint ventures as a key strategy to retain its competitiveness in the global market.
Novamont is one of the key players in the biodegradable plastics market. The company provides blends of starch, PCL, and others, including polyesters and oils. It has a dominant patent portfolio and produces PBS, PBSA, and PCL. Also, the company has additional offices and networks in Germany, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, the UK, the US, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
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