Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Revenue Analysis by 2026 | MNM Report

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Scope

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable and biobased plastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, cassava roots, or sugarcane. Because of its environmental advantages, PLA is becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for traditional petroleum-based plastics. The global market for PLA is expected to grow in the coming years, driven by rising concerns about plastic waste and the environmental impact of traditional plastics.

The PLA research report offers a comprehensive and an in-depth evaluation of the progressive market trends, growth areas, opportunities, drivers, and restraints, which would allow clients and stakeholders to line up their market strategies as stated in present & future market dynamics. Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market size is projected to grow from USD 1.0 billion in 2021 to USD 1.9 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2021 and 2026.

There are several factors that are expected to drive the growth of the PLA market in the future. One of the key drivers is the growing concern about plastic waste and its negative impact on the environment. As a biodegradable plastic, PLA can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and the natural environment. Additionally, because PLA is made from renewable resources, it has a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional plastics.

Another factor driving the growth of the PLA market is the increasing demand for sustainable packaging solutions. PLA is a suitable alternative to traditional plastics in food packaging, disposable cutlery and other applications, as it can be composted and breakdown safely in natural environment.

The polylactic acid (PLA) market is driven by a number of factors, including increased demand for sustainable and biodegradable materials, government regulations and incentives for the use of bioplastics, and the growing use of PLA in a variety of applications.

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Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Drivers

  1. Sustainability: PLA is a biodegradable and compostable material that is made from renewable resources such as corn starch, sugarcane, or cassava. This makes it an attractive alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastics, which are not biodegradable and contribute to plastic pollution.
  2. Government regulations and incentives: Many governments around the world are implementing regulations and incentives to encourage the use of bioplastics, including PLA. For example, in Europe, the European Union has set a target for all member states to reach a minimum level of bioplastics in their plastic consumption by 2030. In addition, many governments provide financial incentives for companies to switch to bioplastics, such as tax breaks or grants.
  3. Growing applications: PLA has a wide range of applications, including packaging, agriculture, and consumer products. The material is widely used in food packaging, disposable tableware, and other packaging materials, as well as in clothing, textiles, and other consumer products. The growth of these industries is expected to drive the demand for PLA.
  4. Advancement and innovation in processing technology which makes the production more economical and efficient that also drive the market.
  5. Growing awareness about environmental issues and sustainability among consumers and businesses is driving the demand for eco-friendly products, and this is expected to further drive the growth of the PLA market.

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Restraints

There are several restraints that can impact the growth of the Polylactic Acid (PLA) market. Some of the key restraints include:

  1. High cost of production: PLA is derived from corn starch or sugarcane, which can be expensive to produce. This high cost of production can make PLA-based products more expensive than those made from traditional plastics, which can limit its adoption.
  2. Limited availability of raw materials: PLA is derived from renewable resources, but the availability of these raw materials can be limited, especially in certain regions. This can lead to supply chain issues, which can impact the production and availability of PLA-based products.
  3. Limited mechanical properties: PLA has a lower melting point and lower impact resistance than traditional plastics, which limits its use in certain applications.
  4. Processing issues: PLA has a higher processing temperature and a higher crystallization rate than traditional plastics, which can make it more difficult to process and can lead to quality issues.
  5. The Biodegradability of PLA is also limited, which restrict it to be used in marine and soil environments, thus reduce its use in packaging industry.

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Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Key Players

  • Natureworks LLC (US)
  • Total Corbion PLA (Netherlands)
  • BASFSE (Germany)
  • Cofco (China)
  • Futerro (Belgium)
  • Danimer Scientific (US)
  • Toray Industries Inc. (Japan)
  • Evonik Industries (Germany)
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (Japan)
  • Unitika Ltd. (Japan) 

Polylactic Acid (PLA) Market Segmentation

The Polylactic Acid (PLA) market can be segmented based on various criteria such as:

By Grades

  • Thermoforming grade
  • Injection molding grade
  • Extrusion grade
  • Blow molding grade
  • Others

The thermoforming grade segment is expected to lead the PLA market during the forecast period.

Thermoforming grade has enormous growth potential in various packaging applications such as food, beverages, and other consumer products. Thermoformed parts made of PLA have excellent clarity, comparable to those formed in oriented polystyrene (OPS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This, combined with the temperature requirements for product storage, make thermoformed PLA suitable for food packaging trays for baked goods, fruits, and vegetables.

By Applications

  • Rigid thermoforms
  • Films & sheets
  • Bottles
  •  Others

By End-use industries

  • Packaging
  • Consumer goods
  • Agricultural
  • Textile
  • Biomedical
  • Others

The packaging segment is estimated to be the fastest-growing end-use industry for PLA market during the forecast period.

Packaging is the largest end-use industry for PLA, with a high CAGR of 13.0% during the forecast period. The need for sustainable solutions has encompassed several industry verticals, including food & beverages, e-commerce, and FMCG. The unique properties of packaging enable its use in various food and non-food applications such as cigarettes, biscuits, sugar confectioneries, baked goods, noodles, and other snacks. The rise in e-commerce has also increased packaging requirements.

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By Region

  • APAC
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America
  • The Middle East & Africa

Europe is expected to be the largest market for PLA during the forecast period.

The packaging industry is the largest end-use industry of PLA in Europe. The political and economic conditions have also driven the market penetration of PLA. The EU Commission has focused on the Lead Markets Initiative, where PLA has been identified as one of the most important potential markets. The strict government norms and economic conditions have also driven the PLA market. These factors have been responsible for the development of PLA with collaborative research in the region.

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