Europe Biodegradable Plastics Market is Projected to Reach $1.9 Billion by 2027


quote Europe has the potential to become one of the largest consumers of biodegradable plastics during the forecast period. The European Union (EU) is proactive in the development and deployment of biodegradable plastics. Further, the adoption has gained momentum since large supermarket and retail chains started replacing conventional plastics with bioplastics. Among all the types, PLA, PBAT, and starch blends are expected to be the emerging investment pockets. Starch blends is the largest market currently in terms of consumption and revenue generation. quote

Eswara Prasad
Manager, Chemical and Material at Allied Market Research

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According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Europe biodegradable plastics Market by Type and Application: Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020–2027,” the Europe biodegradable plastics market was valued at $0.8 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $1.9 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 10.9% from 2020 to 2027.

Biobased and biodegradable plastics are a perfect substitute to conventional plastic, although, currently its cost is high as compared to petroleum-based plastics. The biodegradable plastic market is still developing; and growth opportunities are widening with growing awareness for biobased products. PHA, one of the biodegradable plastic types, is not commercialized to mass scale yet due to high price issues. At present, several manufacturers are opting different routes to lower the cost of the PHA and support ongoing demand. Currently, there are only 15-20 manufacturers operating in this market and primary processing of raw material is predominantly done by these players itself. Owing to high demand for biodegradable plastic, the production capacities of these manufacturers are changing rapidly and similar trends are expected during the forecast period. With consistent expansion in the production capacities each year, the market represents enormous growth potential in upcoming years. As the demand for biodegradable plastics will rise, the cost for such plastics is expected to be more economical.

The packaging industry is the major consumer of biodegradable plastics. Packaging companies are increasingly using biodegradable plastics to manufacture large number of products including dried snacks & candy packaging, bakery goods packaging, water & juice bottles, meat trays, beverages cups, films & card stock, and others. Regulatory bodies are enforcing manufacturers to come up with innovative substantial prepackaging solutions. As a result, manufacturers are adopting biobased and biodegradable plastics in both flexible and rigid packaging applications. Bio-based PLA cups and containers are used in significant volumes for packaging applications. PLA is utilized in an extensive application, starting from non-woven fiber merchandise to beverage bottles and packaging foams. 

Numerous styles of polyesters also develop the biodegradable plastics market. Therefore, demand for biodegradable plastic is on the rise and similar trend is anticipated during the forecast period. Rise in dependence on the packaged food is further expected to fuel the demand for packaging needs. 

On the basis of type, starch blends are the promising type of biodegradable plastic as compared to other types. Starch blend can be modified to any desirable properties during production so that it can be used as per the convenience. Starch is popularly known to reduce the carbon footprint of traditional resins as they can replace petroleum-based polymers with natural ones.

On the basis of application, the packaging industry is the prominent application of biodegradable plastic products. This is attributed to quick decomposition of such plastic bags in a time of 3 to 6 months. In addition, lower carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based plastics make it a more suitable choice for environment. As per the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) and Waste Framework Directive, Europe is offering biodegradable plastic as a substitution to single use plastic. Consequently, Europe is a significant consumer of biodegradable plastics in this market. 

Key manufacturers profiled in the Europe biodegradable plastics market include BASF SE, Biotec Pvt. Ltd., Biotrem, Danimer Scientific, Dow Inc., Eastman Chemical Company, Hemp Plastic, Minima, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Novamont SpA, and Solanyl Biopolymers.

Key findings of the study

  • Based on type, the starch blends segment emerged as the leader by acquiring 28% market share in 2019, and it is anticipated to be the largest market during the forecast period
  • France is the major consumer of biodegradable plastic among other countries. It accounted for more than 25% of the total Europe biodegradable plastics market share in 2019.
  • Presence of large number of regulatory bodies in Europe is one of the key factors behind the flourishing growth in Europe.   
  • Packaging is single major application segment of the biodegradable plastic, wherein, growth is driven by flexible and rigid packaging applications.

Impact Of Covid-19 On The Europe Biodegradable Plastics Market 

  • The ongoing pandemic has resulted in the decrease in the demand for biodegradable plastics due to its already high costs.
  • Consumers are bringing their old fabric and plastic bags, and retail shops and small stores are not providing new plastic bags to prevent further spread. 
  • Before the pandemic, government had proposed a ban on single-use plastics, which was a big opportunity for biodegradable plastics. However, governments across different countries made several changes in their regulations regarding disposable and single use plastics to prevent further spread of the virus. For instance, the State of Maine postponed its ban on plastic bags until January 2021; thus, negatively impacting the Europe biodegradable plastics market growth.
  • Supply chain disruptions resulting from irregular transport and lockdown restrictions led to a shortage of raw materials. For instance, according to a report by business standard, the corn starch consumption has reduced by 50% from 400,000 tons to 200,000 tons.
  • Import dependency on China for various raw materials for the production of biodegradable plastics may change market scenario. 
  • As China started production in limited capacity, the material price for biodegradable plastic is expected to increase. Industry players are focusing to extend the lead time to avoid such high material price.

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quote Europe Biodegradable Plastics Market by Type [Polylactic Acid (PLA), Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate (PBAT), Polybutylene Succinate (PBS), Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), Starch blends, and Others] and Application (Packaging, Agriculture, Consumer Durables, Textile, and Others): Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020–2027 quote

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