Presented at the 11th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, Germany, the European Bioplastics' market update has revealed that the global bioplastics industry's production capacity is set to increase from around 4.2 million tonnes in 2016 to 6.1 million tonnes in 2021.
“The market is predicted to grow by 50% over the coming years despite the low oil price,” said François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics.
The organisation states that packaging remains the largest market for bioplastics, taking almost 40% (1.6 million tonnes) of the total bioplastics share in 2016.
The report shows an increase in the uptake of bioplastics in sectors such as consumer goods (22% or 0.9 million tonnes) and the automotive and transport sector (14% or 0.6 million tonnes). Also the construction and building sector has seen a rise in bioplastic use (13% or 0.5 million tonnes), where technical performance plastics are being used.
Bio-based, non-biodegradable plastics, such as polyurethanes (PUR) and bio-based PE and bio-based PET, are the main drivers of this growth, with PUR1 making up around 40% and PET over 20% of the global bioplastics production capacities, says European Bioplastics.
Production capacities of biodegradable plastics, such as PLA, PHA, and starch blends, are
also growing steadily, says the organisation, and predicts them to increase from around 0.9 million tonnes in 2016 to almost 1.3 million tonnes in 2021.
Around a quarter of the global bioplastics production capacity is estimated to be located in Europe by 2021.
“The data illustrates an important trend, driven by changing consumer demands, to make
plastic products more resource efficient and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the
dependency on fossil resources. This trend is the result of substantial
investments in research and development by the many innovative small and large
companies that concentrate their strengths on the development of bio-based products
designed with the circular economy in mind,” states de Bie.