Global Biopolymers Market: Key Players and Competitive Landscape

Bioplastics and biopolymers are sustainable alternatives to traditional petroleum-based plastics. They are derived from renewable sources like plant starch, vegetable oils, or even waste materials. Bioplastics encompass a wide range of materials, including bio-based and biodegradable plastics. According to recent market research “Bioplastics & Biopolymers Market by Type (Non-Biodegradable/Bio-Based, Biodegradable), End-Use Industry (Packaging, Consumer Goods, Automotive & Transportation, Textiles, Agriculture & Horticulture), Region – Global Forecast to 2026”, global bioplastics & biopolymers market size was USD 11.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 27.3 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 18.9%, between 2022 and 2027.

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In the packaging industry, there’s a growing demand for bioplastics and biopolymers due to environmental concerns and a shift toward more sustainable practices. Here’s why:

  1. Reduced Environmental Impact: Bioplastics are biodegradable and compostable, which means they break down more easily in the environment compared to traditional plastics, reducing litter and pollution.
  2. Renewable Resources: Bioplastics are made from renewable resources, such as corn, sugarcane, or potato starch, which lessens dependence on fossil fuels.
  3. Consumer Demand: As consumers become more environmentally conscious, there’s a rising demand for products that align with their values. Bioplastic packaging satisfies this demand and can enhance a brand’s image.
  4. Regulatory Pressures: Governments and regulatory bodies are implementing stricter rules regarding plastic waste and pollution. Bioplastics offer a way for companies to comply with regulations and reduce their environmental impact.
  5. Innovation in Materials: Advancements in technology have led to the development of bioplastics that have comparable properties to traditional plastics, such as durability and flexibility. This makes them more suitable for various packaging applications.
  6. Circular Economy: Bioplastics can play a crucial role in the circular economy by being composted or recycled back into the soil, reducing the need for landfill space.
  7. Supply Chain Resilience: Bioplastics’ reliance on renewable resources can contribute to supply chain resilience by reducing vulnerability to fluctuations in fossil fuel prices.
  8. Brand Differentiation: Companies using bioplastic packaging can differentiate themselves in a competitive market by showcasing their commitment to sustainability.
  9. Technological Advancements: Ongoing research is leading to the development of new types of bioplastics with improved properties, expanding their potential applications in packaging.
Global Biopolymers Market: Key Players and Competitive Landscape

Bioplastics are plastics derived from renewable sources such as corn, potatoes, rice, soy, sugarcane, wheat, and vegetable oil, while biopolymers are naturally occurring polymers. Bioplastics may or may not be biodegradable. They are mainly segmented into biodegradable and non-biodegradable plastics for various applications in packaging, consumer goods, automotive & transportation, agriculture & horticulture, medical, and other end-use industries.

In terms of value, PBAT are estimated to be the second largest market in the global bioplastics & biopolymers market, by product type, during the forecast period.

PBAT is marketed commercially as a fully biodegradable plastic. It has excellent biopolymer properties, such as high flexibility, good thermal stability, and a high degree of biodegradability. PBAT will be replacing LDPE; in mulch film application; the major application focus for most of the PBAT manufacturers is shopping bags due to stringent environmental regulations. PBAT has comparable tensile strength that makes it a good choice for carrying capacity in the application of shopping bags.

Sugarcane/Sugar beet to be the largest market in the global bioplastics & biopolymers market during 2022 to 2027

The sugarcane/sugar beet segment accounted for more than a quarter of the total market, in terms of volume, and is projected to register a CAGR of 19.3%during the forecast period. Bioplastics made from sugarcane ethanol have the same physical and chemical properties as regular plastic and maintain full recycling capabilities. The carbon footprint of sugarcane ethanol bioplastics is lower than traditional plastic because sugarcane absorbs CO2 from the air as it grows. Sugarcane-based bioplastics can be used to create bags, covers, tubes, films, wraps, and stretch films. A number of companies have started to switch to more environmentally friendly packaging.

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Consumer goods is estimated to be the second-largest end-use industry by value in 2022

The major consumer goods manufacturers are shifting their focus from traditional plastics to bioplastics & biopolymers to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Bioplastics & biopolymers are used for manufacturing consumer goods such as touchscreen computer casings, loudspeakers, mobile casings, and vacuum cleaners. Bioplastics are also used in manufacturing coffee pods, dinnerware, and many other consumer products used for household applications. Disposable housewares made from biodegradable plastics are replacing conventional plastics.

Europe accounted for third largest region, by value, during the forecast period

Europe accounts for a significant share in the bioplastics & biopolymers market due to the high consumer demand for sustainable packaging materials. The governments of the European countries are promoting the use of biodegradable plastics by setting up the infrastructure for composting of these plastics. The key companies producing biodegradable plastics in Europe include BASF (Germany), TotalEnergies Corbion PLA (Netherlands), Biome Bioplastics (UK), and Bio-On (Italy).

NatureWorks LLC (US), Braskem (Brazil), BASF SE (Germany), TotalEnergies Corbion (Netherlands), Novamont S.P.A (Italy), Biome Bioplastics Limited (UK), Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation (Japan), Biotec Biologische Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. (Germany), Plantic Technologies Limited (Australia), and Toray Industries, Inc. (Japan) are the key players in the bioplastics & biopolymers market.