Biodegradable Market - Global Industry Insights, Trends, Outlook, and Opportunity Analysis, 2016-2024

A substance or material is termed to be biodegradable if it can be easily broken down (decomposed) by action of microorganisms. Rampant and unrestricted use of cheap and potentially toxic materials such as plastics has led to alarmingly high volumes of waste that is highly detrimental to the environment. Such waste ends up in landfills or often is burnt, polluting the air, water and the earth. As per independent estimates, the packaging industry in the U.S. contributes around 29 million tons of non-biodegradable waste in landfills each year, with plastics accounting for 11.8% of the overall solid waste from municipalities. While recycling is touted to be a remedial measure to alleviate the situation, a mere 5.7% of plastics are recycled each year in the U.S. Furthermore, extended human contact with synthetic materials, usually used in packaging of food products, can lead to cancer. Increasing manufacturer and consumer awareness towards using eco-friendly products has been a key driver for global biodegradable market during the forecast period. Shifting preferences from synthetic products to eco-friendly and clean alternatives is expected to fuel growth of global biodegradable market in the future. Easy and ample availability and access of raw materials for biodegradable components is another prime factor that is expected to augment the growth of the market, though high manufacturing costs and complexity of manufacturing procedure restrains growth of the biodegradable industry to a certain extent.

Biodegradable products are finding rampant application across various end-use industries such as consumer product packaging, industrial equipment packaging, textiles, and electronics. Biodegradable paper and plastics are the most widely used product types across various industries, especially packaging industry. Biodegradable plastics and paper are also used in manufacture of various consumer products and household products such as toys, dustbins, bottles, and containers.

Green consumerism is an emerging trend that is gaining major traction across the globe. It entails consumer and manufacturer inclination towards sustainable, natural, and green products that help in reducing the ecological footprint.

Biodegradable plastics are gaining increased traction due to stringent regulations imposed by the governments across the world on usage of toxic synthetic plastics. For instance, the most comprehensive specific EU measure is Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials and articles. It sets out rules on the composition of plastic FCMs (food contact materials), and establishes a Union List of substances that are permitted for use in the manufacture of plastic FCMs. The Regulation also specifies restrictions on the use of these substances and sets out rules to determine the compliance of plastic materials and articles. Management of plastic waste is always a top concern for most governments as mass accumulation of toxic plastics lead to harmful effects thereby polluting the environment. Hence, the application of biodegradable plastics is highly encouraged by the government in all regions. As an instance, the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a sustainable packaging initiative, undertaken in 1999, aims at changing the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter. Besides, biodegradable plastics are extremely helpful in reducing the carbon footprint and contribute towards environmental sustainability due to its recyclability and reusability attributes.

Biodegradable Market: Market Taxonomy

By Product Type

On the basis of product type, the global market can be segmented into the following:

  • Plastics
  • Paper

By End-use Industries

The global market can be segmented on the basis of end-use industries:

  • Electronics
  • Agriculture
  • Consumer Goods
  • Food & Beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Textiles
  • Others

Biodegradable Market Outlook - Asia Pacific is expected to highlight potential market for the key players operating in the global market

Changing lifestyles characterized by increasing inclination towards packaged food products is expected to drive demand for biodegradable plastics in the food and beverages industry. While developed regions such as North America and Europe have been the growth engines of the packaging industry, wherein biodegradable materials are predominantly used, the last couple of decades has witnessed a shift in market dynamics, with Asia Pacific emerging as the largest market. This is mainly attributed to rampant westernization—characterized by increasing demand for packaged food items—supplemented by increasing discretionary income in the region. Moreover, major end-use industries such as food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, and electronics are flourishing in emerging economies of India and China, which is fueling growth of the biodegradable market in the region.

Some of the key players operating in the global biodegradable market are Smurfit Kappa Group, Stora Enso, Mondi Group, WestRock, BASF SE, Biome Technologies plc, Metabolix Inc., Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and Plantic Technologies Ltd.

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  • Primary Research (Trade Surveys and Experts Interviews)
  • Desk Research
  • Proprietor Data Analytics Model

In addition to this, Coherent Market Insights has access to a wide range of the regional and global reputed paid data bases, which helps the company to figure out the regional and global market trends and dynamics. The company analyses the industry from the 360 Degree Perspective i.e. from the Supply Side and Demand Side which enables us to provide granular details of the entire ecosystem for each study. Finally, a Top-Down approach and Bottom-Up approach is followed to arrive at ultimate research findings.


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Coherent Market Insights desk research is based on a principle set of research techniques:

  • National level desk research: It Includes research analysis of regional players, regional regulatory bodies, regional trade associations, and regional organization.
  • Multinational level desk research: The research team keeps a track of multinational players, global regulatory bodies, global trade associations, and global organization.

Coherent Market Insights has a large amount of in-house repository of industry database. This is leveraged as a burner for initiating a new research study. Key secondary sources include:

  • Governmental bodies, National and international social welfare institutions, and organizations creating economic policies among others.
  • Trade association, National and international media and trade press.
  • Company Annual reports, SEC filings, Corporate Presentations, press release, news, and specification sheet of manufacturers, system integrators, brick and mortar - distributors and retailers, and third party online commerce players.
  • Scientific journals, and other technical magazines and whitepapers.
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Preliminary Data Mining

The raw data is obtained through the secondary findings, in house repositories, and trade surveys. It is then filtered to ensure that the relevant information including industry dynamics, trends, and outlook is retained for further research process.

Data Standardization:

Holistic approach is used to ensure that the granular and uncommon parameters are taken into consideration to ensure accurate results. The information from the paid databases are further combined to the raw data in order to standardize it.

Coherent Statistical model

We arrive at our final research findings through simulation models. Coherent Data Analytics Model is a statistical tool that helps company to forecast market estimates. Few of the parameters considered as a part of the statistical model include:

  • Micro-economic indicators
  • Macro-economic indicators
  • Environmental indicators
  • Socio-political indicators
  • Technology indicators

Data Processing

Once the findings are derived from the statistical model, large volume of data is process to confirm accurate research results. Data analytics and processing tools are adopted to process large chunk of collected informative data. In case, a client customizes the study during the process, the research finding till then are benchmarked, and the process for new research requirement is initiated again.

Data Validation

This is the most crucial stage of the research process. Primary Interviews are conducted to validate the data and analysis. This helps in achieving the following purposes:

  • It provides first-hand information on the market dynamics, outlook, and growth parameters.
  • Industry experts validates the estimates which helps the company to cement the on-going research study.
  • Primary research includes online surveys, face-to face interviews, and telephonic interviews.

The primary research is conducted with the ecosystem players including, but not limited to:

  • Raw Material Suppliers
  • Manufacturers
  • System Integrators
  • Distributors
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