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Market Analysis of Global Biodegradable Plastics Industry in 2018

Nov. 13, 2019
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1. The demand for biodegradable plastics continues to grow due to the global “plastic limit” and “ban plastic” laws.

In recent years, developed countries and regions such as Europe, the United States, and Japan have successively formulated and promulgated relevant laws and regulations, restricting the use of non-degradable plastics through measures such as partial ban, restriction, compulsory collection, and collection of pollution taxes, and vigorously develop biodegradation. Protecting the environment and protecting the soil, such as December 31, 2018, the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Korea confirmed that South Korea will completely ban the use of disposable plastic bags from 2019 to further reduce "white pollution."

In addition, the European Parliament has also passed a proposal called “the most prohibitive plastic order in history”. From 2021 onwards, the EU will completely ban all disposable materials such as cardboard. Driven by the “restriction of plastics” and “banned plastics” laws in the EU, South Korea, Australia and other regions, the global demand for biodegradable plastics continues to grow.

According to the research report released by IHS Markit, the global demand for biodegradable plastics in 2012 was 269,000 tons. In 2018, the global demand for biodegradable plastics was 360,000 tons, corresponding to a market size of 1.1 billion US dollars, with a compound annual growth rate of 5%. . In 2023, the global demand for biodegradable plastics will increase to 550,000 tons, corresponding to a market size of 1.7 billion US dollars. From 2018 to 2023, the annual compound growth rate of biodegradable plastics demand is 9%.

2. Global biodegradable plastics capacity continues to expand

According to data released by the European Bioplastics Association, as of August 2018, the global plastics production capacity was 2.11 million tons, of which biodegradable plastics accounted for 43.2%, which was 911,000 tons. The starch-based degradable plastics were 384,000 tons, accounting for 42.1% of the global biodegradable plastics capacity.

In December 2018, Total Corbion PLA announced the official launch of the new Rayong plant in Thailand with an annual production capacity of 75,000 tons of PLA plastics. In November 2018, the Chinese Academy of Sciences formed a production line with an annual output of 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide-based biodegradable plastics. In addition, other biodegradable plastics companies have expanded production projects. After adjustment, the forward forecast is that by the end of December 2018, the annual global biodegradable plastic production(such as biodegradable vegetable bag) capacity will be around 1.1 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 25%.

3. Western European countries are the main consumer markets for biodegradable plastics

In Western Europe, which used the most stringent regulations on disposable plastics in 2018, its biodegradable plastics accounted for about 55% of global consumption, Asia and Oceania consumed about 25% of global consumption, and in North America. 19%, compared to about 1% in other regions and countries.

Biodegradable Clothing Bags

Biodegradable Clothing Bags

4. The packaging industry is the main downstream application market

The packaging industry is the largest application market for biodegradable plastics, accounting for about 57%. The demand for biodegradable plastics in the food packaging sector is growing rapidly. Disposable tableware, food packaging and plastic bags are the largest end markets for biodegradable plastics and an engine for the growth of demand for biodegradable plastics.

Compost bags are the second largest end-market for biodegradable plastics. This market is growing rapidly with the expansion of composting facilities and landfill requirements.

Foam packaging is an important market for biodegradable plastics in Western Europe and North America, and mulch and other agricultural applications are important user terminals for bio-crops in Western Europe and Asia.

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