The global cellulose plastics market size is expected to witness a substantial rise in the coming future, and register a significant CAGR over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).
Cellulose plastics are based on pure cellulose that is extracted from wood pulp or cotton lint and is reacted with alkalis, acids, or alkyl halides to produce flakes. The result is acetate, propionate, acetate butyrate, nitrate, or ethyl cellulose, depending on the reactants. Ethyl cellulose plastics have several industrial applications owing to their excellent molding properties, dielectric strength, light weight, and flexibility under a range of temperatures. Of all cellulose plastics, ethyl cellulose plastics have the lowest water absorption rate. Moreover, they are comparatively less tough and lower in strength than other cellulose plastics. Such plastics are typically used for manufacturing luggage items, sports helmets, refrigerator components, and others. Upon chemical modification, cellulose plastics can also be made into cellophane film and fibre such as rayon.
The growth of the cellulose plastics market is driven by demand for cellulose acetate (esters), and the demand is expected to grow steadily over the forecast period. Cellulose plastic are used primarily to produce thermoplastics, electronics, cellophane, fibres, sheets, ophthalmic goods, spectacle frames, toys, sports goods, and rods among others. Moreover, the demand for cellophane plastics from end use industries is expected to grow for applications such as packaging materials, everyday appliances, textiles, and composites. Wide usage of plastic packaging (such as petroleum-based plastic) has led to an increasing number of environmental regulations banning use of conventional or traditional plastics. This, in turn, has led to growing demand for cellulose plastics which are produced by renewable means and raw material. Biodegradability is another reason for increasing demand for bio-based plastics in the global market. In the past few years, applications of cellulose plastics has been increasing, such as screen shields, and electronics such as transparent dialers. However, low purchasing cost and easy availability of traditional plastics may hamper demand for cellulose plastics over the forecast period. Key players in the global cellulose plastics market are engaged in research and development efforts to develop low cost packaging materials that are sustainable and biodegradable at the same time.
The global cellulose plastics market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and rest of the world. North America is dominating the cellulose market in terms of consumer demand and production, and the trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Europe is expected to account for the second largest market share owing to a huge demand in the region, especially Western Europe. The Asia Pacific cellulose market is also projected to exhibit significant growth owing to increasing awareness regarding the environmental hazards posed by conventional plastics, as well as the increasing initiates by governments in economies such as India to curb plastic usage. Other regions such as Latin America and the Middle East are also expected to contribute considerably to the overall market share due to the increasing presence of key players in the regions.
The major players operating in the global cellulose plastics market are Daicel Chemical Industries, Celanese Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Solvay, Mitsubishi Rayon Company Limited, and SK Chemicals Co. Ltd. among others.