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Report identifies major growth trends in bioplastic packaging to 2020

Global bioplastic packaging demand is forecast to reach 884,000 tons by 2020, and the emergence of new materials and major suppliers are set to transform the industry, according to a new report from Pira International.


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January 21, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

Global bioplastic packaging demand is forecast to reach 884,000 tons by 2020, and the emergence of new materials and major suppliers are set to transform the industry, according to a new report from Pira International.

A 24.9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is expected from 2010-15 slowing to 18.3 per cent in the five years to 2020, said the market research analysts.

The company’s study – entitled “The Future of Bioplastics for Packaging to 2020: Global Market Forecasts” – also predicts that new materials and new players will have a big impact on the global market for bioplastic packaging over the next decade. The study noted that a new breed of bioplastics will become significant drivers as “packaging market demand gradually shifts from biodegradable and compostable polymers towards biopackaging based on renewable and sustainable materials”.

According to Pira, the fast-growing natural/genetically modified and bio-derived segments will account for a quarter of total bioplastic packaging market demand by 2020.

Polyhydtroxyalkanoates (PHA) are forecast to achieve a CAGR of 41 per cent and bio-derived PE a whopping 83 per cent over the period. At the same time traditional bioplastic packaging technologies based on starch, cellulose and polyester are each forecast to show a decline in market share, Pira said.

The report notes that large petrochemical companies such as Braskem, Dow Chemicals and Solvay are set up commence bio-derived PE production by 2012 at industrial-scale facilities in Brazil. Telles, the joint venture PHA producer, is also expected to become a major world player and several Chinese companies are known to be investing in significant capacity expansion programmes that should propel them into leading market positions, the report added.

Turing to market share, Pira noted that Europe is currently the largest market for bioplastic packaging with demand account for more than a 50 per cent share of world tonnage in 2010. While North America and Asia are presently lagging behind, Pira said it expects growth rates in these two regions to outstrip Europe in the period to 2020 – with Japan predicted to continue driving Asian expansion.

Rigid packaging presently has a 52 per cent share of the bioplastic segment. However, the report forecasts that flexible packaging, which currently accounts for the remaining 48 per cent, will take a growing share of bioplastics segment up to 2020