US demand for bioplastics will grow 20% annually through 2016 to reach 550 million pounds (249,000 tonnes), according to a new market study.
US bioplastics sales will reach $680m (€552m) in 2016, thanks to technical innovations that enhance the properties of the materials and lower their price, according to the report from US-based Freedonia Group.
Biodegradable resins accounted for the vast majority of bioplastics volume in 2011, but the emergence of non-biodegradable bioresins will dramatically alter the market, according to the report. By 2021, these materials will represent more than two-fifths of volume demand, up from 13% in 2011.
Growth will be propelled by large-volume production of bio-based polyethylene, as well as the eventual commercialization of bio-based PET, polypropylene, and PVC.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is expected to remain the most extensively used resin in the bioplastics market through the forecast period. But bio-based polyethylene – which entered the market in 2010 – is expected to offer the best opportunities for growth through 2016, increasing rapidly from a small base.