Bioplastic refer to a type of compostable plastic derived from renewable biomass source, such as potato-starch vegetable oil, corn-starch, microbial, and pea starch, instead of fossil-fuel based plastics that are made from petroleum products. Bio-derived bulk plastics such as polyethylene (PE), polylactic acid (PLA) and others have renewable raw material base. Biodegradable plastics support biowaste collection and thereby increase waste stream efficiency.
Ongoing development in cellulose conversion technology, which is used for the extraction of cellulose from non-food crops such as husks, corn, wood and grass, is expected to improve yield quality and quantity of the bioplastic in coming years. Cellulose waste is the cheapest raw material having environmental advantages over petroleum based polymer market, which can further drive bioplastic packaging market.
Additionally, consumer concern over environmental changes and greenhouse effect coupled with considerable media reporting has made consumers alert and aware about the advantages of bioplastic packaging. Bioplastics have several advantages as compared to conventional plastics such as improved barrier effect, attractive appearance, biodegradable and recyclable, lower greenhouse gases, and antistatic behavior.
The use of excessive fossil fuel based plastic has led to increase in toxic landfills, polluted water and carbon dioxide emission, which is further affecting soil fertility and public health around the world. As a result, government of various countries has been encouraging production and use of bioplastic, especially for the non-durable consumer goods packaging requirement.
On the basis of various product types, the global bioplastic packaging market can be divided as renewable base and petrochemical base. Further, the renewable base bioplastic can be further segmented as bio-derived polyethylene (PE), starch, aliphatic and aromatic polyesters, cellulose, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), molded fiber, aliphatic-aromatic co-polyester (AAC), polylactic acid (PLA), water soluble polymer (WSP) and others.
Based on packaging type, global bioplastic packaging market can be categorized as rigid plastic packaging and flexible packaging. On the basis of the end user of the bioplastic, the global bioplastic packaging market can be divided as catering and foodservice packaging, beverage packaging, nonfood packaging and others.
Based on technology through which the bioplastic is obtain, the global bioplastic packaging market can be segmented as injection molding, bioplastic directly extracted from biomass, pelletizing, non-biodegradable bio-derived thermoplastics, biodegradable polymers synthesized from petrochemicals, bioplastic synthesized from bio-derived monomers, bioplastic produced by natural or genetically modified organisms (GMO) and others.
Some of the factors driving the growth of global bioplastic packaging market include growing concerns for eco-friendly packaging, replacing oil-based polymers, consumer awareness towards the environment and health, and growth in the production capacity of biodegradable plant-based plastics.
The industry players are expanding their presence in bioplastic raw material in Latin America and Asia-Pacific region. Technical advancements in algae and carbon dioxide based materials, beginning of nanotechnology based bioplastic manufacturing (owing to its enhanced quality and low cost), plant material as an alternative to polymer, sugar based bioplastic sourced from low energy process and non-food crops are some features laying new market opportunities for global bioplastic packaging market.
Factors hindering the expansion of bioplastic packaging market include high cost of production as bioplastic is not easily recyclable, lack of commercial conversion technology of agro based material to bioplastic, and limited use of bioplastic for the packaging attributed to the premium pricing of the bioplastic.
Among regions, Europe dominated the global bioplastic packaging market in 2014. It is then followed by North America and Asia-Pacific. The growing demand for eco friendly, advanced and effective packaging in Asia-Pacific countries such as China and India is attributed to increasing per capita income, growing consumption of packaged foods and beverages, and urbanization.
Some of the major competitors in global bioplastic packaging market include The Dow Chemical Company, BASF SE (Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik), Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc., Novamont S.p.A., Braskem S.A., NatureWorks, LLC, Koninklijke DSM N.V., Innovia Films, Ltd., and ECM BioFilms, Inc.
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