Global bioplastic forecast: 200 billion yuan in market size in 2026!

  • 2022-09-14
On October 20-21, 2022, the Biodegradable Materials Research Institute and TK Bio-based Materials will hold the "Bio-based Materials Technology and Application Forum". The forum will discuss the cutting-edge technologies and product applications of bio-based materials, such as PLA, FDCA, PHA, bio-PBS and other bio-based plastics and bio-based fibers, focusing on the modification, processing and downstream applications of polylactic acid (fibers, film bags, catering tools, packaging materials, etc.). Chen Guoqiang, Andy Lau from Tsinghua University, Zhang Yu, a Chinese national student, Bian Xinchao from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Jiang Min from Nanjing University of Technology, and Fan Yaqing from Anhui Fengyuan delivered keynote speeches. Welcome to scan the code and register to participate in the exhibition.

According to the Biodegradable Materials Research Institute, recently, the research institute "Research and Markets" (Markets and Markets) predicted that the global bioplastics market will reach 29.7 billion US dollars (205.7 billion RMB) by 2026, with a CAGR of 22.7%. The growth is mainly due to China, India and Indonesia etc. Growing demand for bioplastics and biopolymers in various end-use markets, stringent regulatory and sustainability requirements, and growing environmental concerns are driving the bioplastics and biopolymers market. The following is a brief description of the content.

1. Market overview of global bioplastics
Bioplastics and Biopolymers Market (broadly referred to below as Bioplastics for ease of description), By Type, Non-biodegradable Bio-based (eg Bio-PE), Biodegradable (eg PBAT), By End-use Packaging , Consumer Products, Automotive & Transportation, Textiles, Agriculture & Horticulture, by Region.
1. By type
Among bioplastics, non-biodegradable bioplastics account for a larger share of the overall market, with major applications being in food packaging, disposable tableware, bags, fibers, and agricultural applications. They are not much different from traditional plastics. Bio-PE and Bio-PET are the same as fossil-based bioplastics used in food packaging.
2. According to the purpose
Packaging is the largest end-use industry for bioplastics, accounting for 61.6% of the global bioplastics market in 2020. Several verticals are covered, including food and beverage, e-commerce and FMCG. The unique properties of the packaging allow it to be used in a variety of food and non-food applications such as cigarettes, cookies, confectionery, baked goods, noodles and other snacks. In addition, the rise of e-commerce has brought strong attention to the increase in packaging requirements.
3. By region
Based on region, the bioplastics and biopolymers market is segmented into Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, North America, and Rest of the World. APAC is the fastest growing market for bioplastics and biopolymers due to the growing consumer preference for eco-friendly plastic products as the region's population grows rapidly. Growing consumer purchasing power is driving the growth of various end-use industries in the region. These factors are expected to lead to an increase in the demand for bioplastics and biopolymers in the region during the forecast period.
The global market size is expected to grow from USD 10.5 billion (RMB 72.7 billion) in 2020 to USD 27.9 billion (RMB 193.2 billion) in 2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7% during the forecast period.
The latest forecast is that it will grow from USD 10.7 billion (RMB 74.1 billion) in 2021 to USD 29.7 billion (RMB 205.7 billion) in 2026, with a CAGR of 22.7% during the forecast period.

Major factors driving the growth of the market are the government’s focus on green procurement policies and regulations around the world, and the growth of the aftermarket for bioplastics and biopolymers.
Government regulations include banning or imposing additional fees on the use of traditional plastics in applications such as shopping bags, packaging materials and disposables. These increasing regulations and bans on plastic bags and other plastic products are driving the global market for bioplastics, especially biodegradable plastics.
The Asia Pacific region (APAC) is estimated to be the fastest growing market for bioplastics and biopolymers between 2021 and 2026. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region is largely attributable to the rapid expansion of economies such as China, India and Indonesia.

4. Specific company
Major players in the bioplastics market include NatureWorks (Italy), Braskem (Brazil), BASF (Germany), Total Corbion (Netherlands), Novamont (Italy), Biome Bioplastics (UK), Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (Japan), Biotec ( Germany), Toray Industries (Japan) and Plantic Technologies (Australia).
These companies have adopted various growth strategies to further expand their market share. Over the past five years, new product launches, joint ventures, and investments and expansions have been the main strategies adopted by major players to strengthen their competitiveness in the global bioplastics market and expand their customer base.
BASF is one of the leading market players. Its Performance Materials and Solutions segment produces biodegradable plastics for a variety of applications, such as automotive manufacturing, packaging, sports and leisure, medical technology, construction, solar thermal and photovoltaics. The company produces a fully synthetic biodegradable polyester. In addition, the company currently produces Ecoflex (PBAT), a synthetic biodegradable polyester. The company mixes PLA with Ecoflex for Ecovio. It has made joint operations a key strategy to keep it competitive in the global market.
Novamont is also one of the major players in the biodegradable plastics market. The company offers starch, PCL and other blends including polyesters and oils. It has a dominant patent portfolio and produces PBS, PBSA and PCL. In addition, Novamont has offices and networks in Germany, France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Denmark, United Kingdom, United States, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
NatureWorks is the largest player in the bioplastics and biopolymers market. With manufacturing facilities in North America, the company produces bioplastics and biopolymers for 3D printing, beauty and home, building and construction, food and beverage packaging, medical and hygiene, and other applications for customers around the world. The company has adopted a new product launch and expansion strategy to expand its product portfolio and maintain its position in the market.
 In May 2019, the company developed a new Ingeo 3D450 formulation for dual extrusion 3D printers. The new formulations are produced to support materials including complex industrial parts such as jigs and fixtures, investment metal casting models, and architectural and retail models.
Braskem is one of the world's largest producers of bioplastics and biopolymers. The company has 41 manufacturing plants worldwide. In recent years, Braskem has adopted a variety of business strategies to strengthen its market position. It has adopted various growth strategies, including joint ventures and new product launches, to maintain its leadership in the bioplastics and biopolymers market.
 In August 2019, Braskem and natural agro-products manufacturer Ledesma (Argentina) partnered to launch Ledesma + Bio, a 100% sustainable line of laptops made entirely from sugar cane. These moves are expected to meet the needs of the bioplastics and biopolymer markets.
5. The impact of COVID-19 on the global bioplastics and biopolymers market
Bioplastics and biopolymers are used in a variety of industries such as packaging, consumer products, automotive and transportation, textiles, and agriculture and horticulture. However, due to the ongoing outbreak, industries around the world have been affected. Manpower shortages, logistical constraints, lack of materials and other constraints have slowed the industry's growth over the past year. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its gradual spread, essential needs industries, such as the safe delivery of food and required supplies to consumers, are increasingly affected. The global impact has already led to a sharp reduction in demand for some packaging deemed non-essential. On the other hand, demand for basic packaging such as e-commerce shipping has grown significantly. These changes have created new challenges for packaging companies. For these reasons, the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the packaging industry will be mixed. The COVID-19 outbreak has affected the normal operations of companies in the consumer goods industry. The successful marketing model has been affected by the epidemic, thereby promoting the normal operation of the business model. According to the Institute for Supply Management, 76% of businesses have had to reduce revenue targets by an average of 23% due to global supply chain disruptions. Market sentiment for the sector was mixed, as consumer demand for some sectors such as household cleaning and frozen food increased, while sales fell in others and food traffic to retail stores decreased significantly. Companies must become nimble as consumer demands for e-commerce change. This has forced the entire consumer goods industry into the digital age.
The auto industry has been largely affected by the 2020 COVID-19 hit. However, markets in China, Europe and the U.S. rebounded in the previous months, showing year-on-year growth. However, in the long run, without proper solutions, demand will remain modest in the coming years. The industry has also witnessed supply chain disruptions, mass manufacturing disruptions and assembly plant closures for Chinese component exports.


2. Market dynamics of global bioplastics
1. Drivers: Consumer preference towards environmentally friendly plastic products
Consumer awareness is boosting the market growth of bioplastics. Traditional plastics are often petroleum-based, take decades to break down or degrade, and sit in landfills for long periods of time. Biodegradable plastics break down faster when they are discarded and absorbed back into natural systems. In addition, biodegradable plastics break down much faster than conventional plastics through the activity of microorganisms.
Compared to conventional plastics, which take about 1,000 years to decompose, biodegradable plastics decompose 60% or more in 180 days or less. The growing number of landfills and waste dumps has become a serious environmental hazard and has had many adverse effects on the flora and fauna in the ecosystem.
Increasing consumer awareness of these adverse effects (caused by the use of conventional plastics) has encouraged the use of biodegradable plastics. Furthermore, the use of conventional polymers may pose a threat to human health and safety due to their toxic components. For example, PVC may cause genetic diseases, ulcers, deafness and vision loss. Such high risks have increased the demand for products that are safe for human health. As a result, increased consumer awareness and government legislation have driven the use of bio-based products such as biodegradable plastics and bio-based plastics.
2. Constraining factors: the price of bioplastics is higher than that of traditional plastics
The cost of bioplastics is higher than that of conventional polymers, which limits market growth in many application areas. In many cases, bio-based polymers are 20% to 100% more expensive to produce than conventional polymers. This is mainly due to the high cost of polymerization of bio-based polymers, as most methods are still in the development stage, so economies of scale have not been achieved. For example, PHA has a variety of applications in (brake synthetic paper, medical devices, electronic parts, food packaging, and agriculture) with high production costs, low volumes and limited availability. PLA is much cheaper to produce than PHA, but still more expensive than petroleum-based PE and PP. In general, bio-based materials are still in the development stage and have not yet been commercialized to the same level as petrochemical materials, which have been developing rapidly for more than 50 years.
Currently, the cost of biodegradable plastics ranges from $2/kg to $6/kg, while conventional plastics cost around $1/kg to $2/kg. Higher R&D (research and development) and production costs resulting from small-scale production, as well as significant price differences compared to traditional petroleum-based plastics, are key factors contributing to the low penetration of bioplastics across industries.
3. Opportunities: Huge Potential for APAC Emerging Countries
Bioplastics and biopolymers market players are continuously implementing organic and inorganic strategies to promote their own development. Players have made many strategic developments in emerging countries APAC in recent years. For example, in 2019, Total Corbion established a PLA plant in Rayong, Thailand, with a capacity of 75,000 tons per year. In the same year, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (Japan) and Lenovo Group Co., Ltd. (China) formed a joint venture to produce bioplastic-based bodies (3D-shaped backplanes) for smartphones. In addition, Indonesia is exploring alternatives to bioplastics such as seaweed. Evoware is a local company offering patented packaging based on seaweed. This company is producing seaweed containers. Environment-related regulations are expected to increase, which will ultimately drive the future demand for bioplastics in these countries. In addition, Southeast Asia is rich in bio-based raw materials for the production of bioplastics, as it can obtain sustainable raw materials locally. Hence, regulations, coupled with the availability of raw materials, in turn will help sustain the demand for bioplastics over the forecast period.
4. Challenge: Limited regulations related to bioplastics in developing countries
The choice of a product over its alternatives is influenced by existing regulations in the market. Stringent regulations related to waste management and regulations in the plastics industry will increase the preference for bioplastics over conventional plastics. Bioplastics can only compete with conventional plastics if they meet requirements related to cost, functionality, availability and recyclability. However, regulations in developing countries are limited.
In some developing and underdeveloped regions such as Africa, Latin America and APAC, ignorance and negligence have led to a lack of awareness of the importance of packaging product sustainability and recycling. Unless consumers are directly affected by waste, they are unaware of the seriousness of the problems caused by waste. However, with the global boom in digital and social media, sustainability awareness in these regions is expected to increase. Despite various government initiatives, a considerable number of people still do not believe in the recycling and reuse of packaging materials. Therefore, these countries require stringent regulations related to packaging and waste management, otherwise this will continue to challenge the growth of the global bioplastics and biopolymers market.

On October 20-21, 2022, the "Bio-based Materials Technology and Application Forum" jointly sponsored by the Institute of Biodegradable Materials and TK Bio-based Materials will be held in Suzhou. The forum will lay out the entire industry chain of bio-based materials. Experts from authoritative institutions and leading enterprises in the industry communicate and learn together to promote the healthy and rapid development of my country's bio-based industry.

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