Analysts expect the market for bioplastics to grow

Europe Largest Consumer

Europe accounted for more than one third of total global bioplastics consumption in 2013. Thus, this region is the most important sales market, followed by North America, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world. Ceresana forecasts Europe to remain leading in research and development and the largest market for bioplastics for several years to come. Asia-Pacific and a number of South American countries, however, are likely to catch up significantly: Given a sound economic surrounding and an as yet small market share of bioplastics in end applications, both regions offer an enormous potential for growth.

Focus on "Drop-In" Bioplastics

A global trend on the market for bioplastics is the increased use of non-biodegradable bioplastics, which are also known as "Drop In" bioplastics and include products such as bio-PE or bio-PET that possess properties similar to their equivalents made from fossil resources. International enterprises in segments such as foodstuffs, consumer goods, and the automotive industry are backing this development. Their aim is the reduction of their ecological footprint by using easily recyclable bioplastics.
In order to meet future demand for bioplastics, Asia-Pacific and South America in particular are investing in a massive expansion and creation of production capacities. These regions can capitalize on the availability of a range of biological raw materials as well as propitious political and economic conditions.

Packaging Industry Most Important Sales Market

A sector to use a remarkably large amount of bioplastics is the packaging industry, especially in the subsegment food packaging. The major advantage of cups, bottles, plates, bags, and sacks made from biodegradable bioplastics is the fact that they can be disposed of along with leftover food. Bioplastics are also the material of choice in agricultural films that are plowed in when no longer needed, flower pots, and trays for seedlings.

Bottles made from bioplastics are becoming more and more popular among manufacturers of beverages and detergents. Hence, we forecast the highest growth rates for this application area. In order for bioplastics to become established in this segment, however, it has to be made sure that the planned facilities are constructed and that producers of bottles actually do shift to utilizing biobased plastics.