Worldwide demand for bioplastics will increase more than fourfold to 900,000 tonnes in 2013, giving the market an estimated worth of $2.6bn (€1.7bn), according to a new report
According to Freedonia’a ‘World Bioplastics’ report, growth will be fuelled only partly by consumer demand for more environmentally friendly products. In fact, the most important driver will be the rising cost of crude oil and natural gas. Western Europe was the largest market for bioplastics in 2008, accounting for 40% of world demand, but future growth will be driven largely by the Asia/Pacific region. In 2013, the bioplastics market in Asia Pacific will show a 39.1% annual growth rate, compared to 27.2% in North America, 30.8% in western Europe, and a global average of 35.1%, says Freedonia. “Gains will be stimulated by strong demand in Japan, which has focused intently on the replacement of petroleum-based plastics,” says the report. “Other regions, such as Latin America and eastern Europe, will see stellar gains in bioplastics demand from a very small 2008 base.” Biodegradable plastics such as PLA currently account for nearly 90% of bioplastics, says Freedonia.