Biodegradable Polymers Market Overview
Escalating price of crude oil, which is the primary raw material for the production of petroleum-based polymers and rising awareness among public regarding ill-effects of plastic waste are among the key trends identified in the global biodegradable polymers market. Furthermore, increasing environmental concern is compelling the governments of various countries to support the production of eco-friendly biodegradable polymers, which has shifted the focus from petroleum-based polymers to biodegradable and eco-friendly polymers. Besides this, the usage of these polymers in medical applications such as surgical sutures, wound dressings, tissue regeneration, and enzyme immobilization are also encouraging their demand.
Also, continuous progress in terms of product development and cost reduction is required for these polymers to be effectively compete with conventional plastics for mainstream applications.
Polymers are compounds with a long chain of monomers formed by chemical reactions and composed of a large number of repeating units and high molar mass. These polymers are bio-based or synthetic polymers, which decompose to carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water, biomass, and inorganic salts under the action of microorganisms in industrial or municipal compost facilities. These polymers break down after their intended purpose to result in natural byproducts such as gases (CO2, N2), water, biomass, and inorganic salts. These polymers occur naturally and synthetically, and consist of ester, amide, and ether functional groups.
Based on the product type, the biodegradable polymers market can be categorized into polybutylene adipate terephthalate, polybutylene succinate, polybutylene succinate adipate, polycaprolactone, polyglycolic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates, polylactic acid and starch-based polymer. Among these, the polyactic acid polymers are leading the market on account of their wide uses in packaging, medical, textile, and agriculture industries. Furthermore, the rapid adoption of these polymers in medical industry is expected to drive their demand in the market.
Besides polyactic acid, starch-based polymers are in high demand in the biodegradable polymers market in these days, owing to the price of these polymers has come down considerably over the past years as the production volume has increased. The major application areas of starch-based polymers include packaging solutions, hygiene products, compost bags, agricultural films, and fast food tableware.
On the basis of applications, the biodegradable polymers market can be classified into medical, packaging, and agriculture. In medical application, these polymers are used in drug delivery systems, surgical sutures, and adhesive prevention. In the coming years, the market for packing application is also anticipated to register the good growth owing to and changing consumer preferences towards packaged meals along with convenient packaging style, resulting in increasing demand of these polymers in packaging industry in order to suffice the market demand. Additionally, these polymers are used in agriculture mulches, starch-based packaging, and cellulose-based packaging.
Additionally, a number of Japanese companies have developed biodegradable plastics for a range of consumer electronic applications, which in turn, would also diversify the application of these polymers to the new industries. This is expected to boost the biodegradable polymers market growth during the forecast period.
Geographically, the biodegradable polymers market has been categorized into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. Among these, Asia-Pacific market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The major factors driving the regional market growth are improving healthcare facilities, increasing demand for eco-friendly packaging solutions, and growing focus on biomedical applications. China and Japan are the major countries driving the demand for these polymers in the region. The consumption of these polymers in China is expected to inflate significantly, during the forecast period, owing to the strict government regulations and low production costs.
Biodegradable Polymers Market Dynamics
A positive contribution to the conservation of the world’s natural resources and protection of the environment is the major factor driving the growth of the biodegradable polymers market. Besides this, growing industrialization and standardization of the packaging procedures and high implementation of these polymers are driving the market. The inclination toward eco-friendly materials in the packaging industry as well as textiles would also provide an aid to the market. In addition to these, high demand for biodegradable products in the agriculture sector for films, plant pots, containers, and storage bags for fertilizers and chemicals is also an important factor for rising the demand of these polymers.
High manufacturing cost of these polymers is the main factor restraining the growth of the biodegradable polymers market. With current technology levels, the production cost of polymers of biodegradable type is up to 50% higher in comparison to the petroleum-based polymers. On the other hand, some of these polymers produce methane when decompose in landfills, which in turn, would not serve the primary concern to lessen the greenhouse gas emission and could act as a restraint to the market.
Biodegradable Polymers Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major companies operating in the global biodegradable polymers market are BASF SE, BIOTEC GmbH & Co. KG, CJ CheilJedang Corp., DowDuPont Inc., FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, Futamura Chemical Co. Ltd., Japan Corn Starch Co. Ltd., Plantic Technologies Limited, Rodenburg Biopolymers, and Kingfa Sci. & Tech. Co. Ltd.
The study provides the historical as well the forecast market size data for various countries, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, U.K., Italy, Russia, Japan, China, and India.