News

U.S. demand for biodegradable plastics to reach $845 million in 2012: study

Demand for biodegradable plastic in the U.S. is forecast to expand nearly 16 percent per year to 720 million pounds...


Print this page

September 8, 2008 by Canadian Plastics

Demand for biodegradable plastic in the U.S. is forecast to expand nearly 16 percent per year to 720 million pounds in 2012, valued at $845 million, according to a new report by market research firm The Freedonia Group.

According to the report, entitled “Biodegradable Plastics”, “Polylactic acid (PLA) demand will present good opportunities through 2012, reflecting price declines, improved product performance and greater processor familiarity.”

The study also forecast good opportunities for PLA in packaging areas such as film, thermoformed products, and foodservice products. Starch-based plastic demand will present good growth through 2012 due to the availability of lower priced and improved resin blends. Film products such as yard and kitchen bags will remain dominant. Rapid advances are also expected in areas such as plates, bowls and foodservice items.

Slow growth is expected for biodegradable loose-fill packaging based on competition from bubble packaging and inflatable bags, the report noted. Demand for polyester-based biodegradables will increase at the fastest pace through 2012 due to rapid capacity additions, price declines and opportunities in film and fiber products. The materials also have good synergy in blends with PLA, starch and other materials.

“Packaging, which accounted for more than 70 percent of all biodegradable plastic use in 2007, will present good opportunities,” the study also said. “Molded biodegradable products will exhibit the fastest growth due to widespread use in containers and trays based on improved resins and processing technologies.”

For more about the “Biodegradable Plastics” study, visit this link.

Receive the latest news about the Canadian plastics industry in your inbox every Tuesday! Sign up for Canadian Plastics‘ free weekly newsletter.