Biopolymers are polymeric materials produced from feedstock such as crops including corn and sugar cane or standing timber and residual wood. Biopolymers are biodegradable in nature, unlike conventional polymers or plastics that lead to various environmental issues such as pollution and global warming. Increasing awareness regarding the use of bio-based polymers is expected to boost the growth of the global biopolymers market over the forecast period.
The biopolymers market is expected to surpass US$ 33,264.7 million by the end of 2028 in terms of revenue and exhibit a CAGR of 13.8% during the forecast period (2021 to 2028).
Biopolymers are now widely recognized in the pharmaceutical industry for their ability to heal wounds of any size, shape, or depth. Some common biopolymers, such as chitosan, alginate, gelatin, and pectin, are utilised to make hydrogels, which provide a moist environment for dry wounds. These biopolymers are also used for wound dressings. These factors are acting as esteemed growth drivers for the biopolymers market.
For instance, in 2005, according to analysis done by Colin Campbell, co-founder of the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, around 944 billion barrels of oil had been extracted in human history. And, only 764 billion barrels of oil reserves are yet to be extracted from. These statistics are alarming as humans are not far away from when they should totally rely upon a world without oil.
Among regions, Europe accounted for a significant market share of 42.6% in the global biopolymers market in 2020, owing to increasing government initiatives to restrict the use of conventional plastic. For instance, under the Plastic Bags Directive in European Union (EU), consumers cannot use over 90 bags (conventional plastic bags) per year by 2019, which is lower than the EU average of 200 bags a year. Moreover, in France, the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, which was effective from January 2017, banned the use of conventional plastic bags for fruits and vegetable packaging. Therefore, restrictions imposed on the use of conventional plastic bags are expected to propel the growth of the biopolymers market in Europe.
Figure 1. Global Biopolymers Market Revenue Share (%), By Region, 2020
High production cost that leads to even higher cost of biopolymers is expected to restrain the market growth. Biopolymers are 2.5 to 7.5 times more expensive than major conventional petroleum-based plastics. For instance, bio-based ethylene is more costly than petroleum-based ethylene. Therefore, the high cost of biopolymers is expected to limit the growth of the biopolymers market over the forecast period.
|Base Year:||2020||Market Size in 2021:||US$ 13,458.2 Mn|
|Historical Data for:||2017, 2018, and 2019||Forecast Period:||2021 to 2028|
|Forecast Period 2021 to 2028 CAGR:||13.8%||2028 Value Projection:||US$ 33,264.7 Mn|
BASF SE, NatureWorks LLC, Braskem S.A., Novamont S.p.A., Du Pont, Plantic Technologies Ltd, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Danimer Scientific, Bio-on S.p.A., and Rodenburg Biopolymers B.V.
|Restraints & Challenges:||
Since the biopolymers market is at a nascent stage, it is experiencing immense innovation. Thermoplastic starch is a type of biopolymer that is procured from carbohydrates including tapioca, potatoes, maize, rice, and others. This starch is mixed with polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyethylene to develop 100% biodegradable products. The name of this biodegradable product is ‘eco-alloy’ as this is an amalgamation of two products that benefit the environment.
Figure 2. Global Biopolymers Market Revenue Share (%), By Product Type, 2020
Among product types, the bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) segment accounted for the largest market share of 56.9% in 2020. This is owing to the properties of bio-based PET such as recyclability and biodegradability. The composition of this biopolymer is derived from 30% of plant-based ethylene glycol and 70% of terephthalic acid (TPA, derived from fossil). Bio-based PET is used in the production of bottles, bags, cosmetic containers, carpets, sanitary products, foils, and others.
Global Biopolymers Market - Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Biopolymers are used in various industries such as packaging, consumer goods, automotive & transportation, textiles, and agriculture & horticulture. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, these industries had been affected throughout the world. Manpower shortage, logistical restrictions, material unavailability, and other restrictions had slowed the growth of the industries during the pandemic.
Major players operating in the global biopolymers market include BASF SE, NatureWorks LLC, Braskem S.A., Novamont S.p.A., Du Pont, Plantic Technologies Ltd., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Danimer Scientific, Bio-on S.p.A., and Rodenburg Biopolymers B.V.
Conventional petroleum-based polymers are non-biodegradable and difficult to recycle. Moreover, the production of conventional plastics is associated with concerns such as greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, the demand for sustainable polymeric material is increasing as a substitute for conventionally used polymers. Bio-based polymer is an eco-friendly solution, as the polymer can easily degrade.
Among end-user the packaging segment is expected to witness significant market share in the global biopolymers market. Biopolymers are mainly used in packaging applications. The packaging sector is witnessing increasing demand for plastics. For instance, according to the Plastics and Composites Sector Report (2015) of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, worldwide plastic demand is expected to reach 600 million tons by 2050. Biopolymers are sustainable alternative to conventional plastics and are increasingly used in the packaging industry, which in turn, is expected to fuel the market growth over the forecast period.
Among regions, Europe accounted for a significant market share in 2020, owing to the increasing presence of key players in the region. For instance, in June 2021, BASF SE is a multinational chemical company. Consumer demand for natural cosmetics is growing rapidly, prompting personal care manufacturers to find eco-friendly alternatives to tried-and-true solutions. With the COSMOS-approved texturizing biopolymer Hydagen Clean, BASF SE now offers a natural alternative to synthetic polymers. Due to its low microbial count and rapid dissolution in both cold and hot water, Hydagen Clean is characterized not only by its high quality, but also by its ease of use.
Key features of the study:
“*” marked represents similar segmentation in other categories in the respective section.