Global bioplastics output to rise to 2.44m tonnes by 2022 - trade group

29 November 2017 13:28 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Global bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 2.05m tonnes in 2017 to approximately 2.44m tonnes in 2022, trade group European Bioplastics said on Wednesday.

Biopolymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are the main drivers of this growth, European Bioplastics added.

Despite the predicted growth, the forecast is in stark contrast with that made in March by the association's head of environmental affairs Constance Issbruecker.

At the time, Issbruecker said that she expected global bioplastics production capacity to reach 6.1m tonnes by 2021.

“The global market for bioplastics is predicted to grow by 20% over the next five years,” said European Bioplastics chairman Francois de Bie on Wednesday.

“The transition to a low-carbon and circular economy, stronger policy support for the bioeconomy, and an increased consumer awareness for sustainable products and packaging are driving the expansion.”

Around 56% of the bioplastics global production capacity in 2017 was bas biobased, non-biodegradable plastics, the association said, including bio-based polyethylene, bio-based polyethylene terephthalate and bio-based polyamides.

Packaging remains the largest field of application for bioplastics with almost 60% (1.2m tonnes) of the total market in 2017.

Asia is the major production hub for bioplastics with over 50% of the market currently located there.

Europe accounts for 20% of production, but this is set to rise to 25% by 2022 according to the report.

“We are witnessing a growing number of major brands switching from fossil-based to bio-based materials or to offer biodegradable solutions for their products in response to the increased consumer demand for more sustainable products and an overall change in awareness about the impacts of consumption choices on the environment,” said De Bie.

“The bioplastics industry is able to meet the increased demand as a 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 a circular economy in mind.”

Source: European Bioplastics

Picture source: Bernard/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

By Niall Swan