Global market expected to reach 6.7m t by 2018 / Growth driven by biobased, non-biodegradable plastics / Asian market share rising / New study by European Bioplastics
The global bioplastics market is expected to grow by more than 400% in the mid-term, a new analysis of market data by European Bioplastics (Berlin / Germany; shows. The study – compiled in cooperation with the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites ( at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover / Germany and the nova-Institute (Huerth / Germany; – predicts that production capacity will rise from about 1.6m t/y in 2013 to more than 6.7m t/y by 2018, largely driven by biobased, non-biodegradable plastics, including biobased PE and PET. Driving growth in the biobased and biodegradable field is PLA, the research found.

In Europe, production of renewable and compostable plastics will be boosted by the EU directive on the reduction of carrier bags, which European Bioplastics welcomed since it sanctions the actions taken by several member states with regard to compostable bags (for more details, see of 27.11.2014). The main application fields include flexible and rigid packaging, the study said, although European Bioplastics chairman François de Bie said there are also signs of decisive growth in textiles and automotive applications.

In regional terms, the study found that Asia will continue to expand its position as a leading production hub, driven by projects planned in Thailand, India and China, among others. By 2018, about 75% of total global bioplastics production will be located in Asia. These findings are echoed by a recent study published by BCC Research (Wellesley, Massachusetts / USA; – see of 11.08.2014. In Europe, by comparison, developments in the field will focus on R&D, with its share of the global bioplastics production pie expected to fall to about 8% by 2018. Another disadvantage facing Europe is the fact that in the US and Asia, producers are investing in measures “closer to market introduction,” the association said, adding that they will thus have a faster market development than in Europe.

Amid such prospects, de Bie urged “EU legislators to consider and make efficient use of the immense environmental, economic growth and job creation potential of our industry.” One way of doing so is this year’s announcement of a EUR 3.7 bn public-private programme aimed at developing Europe’s bioeconomy (see also of 29.07.2014).
15.12.2014 [229991-0]
Published on 15.12.2014

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