Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has published an in-depth analysis of worldwide markets for bio-plastics, covering all major bio-plastics including starch-based bio-plastics, bio-polyesters, cellulose-based bio-plastics and bio-polymers. The report titled “Bio-Plastics Markets –2013,” claims that revenues from bio-plastics will reach $6.1 billion by 2018, with 8.6 million tons of bio-plastics shipped.
The report also discusses new feedstocks such as seaweed, and carbon dioxide. Applications analyzed include food and pharma packaging, waste bags, medical implants, diapers, mulch foils, electronics, and tires/automotive. Eight-year forecasts with breakouts by materials type, applications and region are included.
The report discusses the activities of many firms pioneering the use of bio-plastics including Arkema, Avantium, BASF, Braskem, Bridgestone, Cargill, Casda, Coca Cola, Cooper Tire, Danone, Dow Chemical, Faurecia, FKuR, Gevo, Green Dot, Heinz, Hisun Biomaterials, Innovia Films (UK), Invista, LanzaTech, M & G, Metabolix, Mitsubishi Chemical, Mitsui, Nike, Novamont, P&G, PTT, Purac, Showa Denko, Solvay, Teijin, Toray and Uhde Inventa-Fischer
Additional details about the report are available at: http://nanomarkets.net/market_reports/report/bio_plastics_markets
More from the report:
While bio-plastics represent only 1% of the total plastics market today, NanoMarkets’ report projects that amount will grow to 7% by 2020. Market drivers include recyclability of bio-based PA, PE and PET and the bio-degradability/compostability of other bio-plastics. The sector will benefit from European and Japanese mandates favoring compostable/recyclable materials, also the involvement of big name firms such as BASF and Dow Chemical which are investing billions of dollars into bio-plastics.
To reach full potential, bio-plastics must come down in price; today they are two-to-three times the price of fossil-based plastics. This sector is also highly capital intensive. For every one million tons of bio-plastics production capacity, at least $1.25 billion is invested.
Cost reductions will be achieved through economies of scale and by using less expensive feedstocks; switching to cassava for bio-PLA will reduce feedstock cost by 70%. Another factor that will help bio-plastics will be ongoing technical improvements such as better barrier coatings.
The consumption of bio-plastics by the packaging industry will amount to 1.3 million tons in 2013; almost 75 percent of bio-plastics shipped. Packaging will still hold a 65 share of the bio-plastics market as late as 2020. For plastic bottles, bio-PET is expected to replace fossil-based plastics entirely and PLA foamed structures are expected to take a noticeable share of the food container segment.
The other big bio-plastics opportunity lies in the automotive segment, which is expected to consume just 75 million tons of bio-plastics in 2013 but more than 10 times that amount in 2018. Bridgestone and Cooper Tire are developing bio-plastic tires and bio-based butadiene tires will be retailing by 2014. Mitsubishi is doing R&D work on bio-plastics for automotive interior parts. Bio-plastics that are expected to be used in the automotive segment include PLA blends, bio-PA, bio-PE, and bio-PET.
Bio-plastics product is shifting to Asia and South America, closer to where feedstocks are grown. By 2020 nearly 80% of bio-plastics will be produced in these regions. Chinese companies are already making bio-plastics and firms such as Arkema and BASF are investing in the Chinese bio-plastic sector. Chinese domestic consumption for bio-plastics will also grow rapidly, but will be constrained by Chinese government concerns with using food crops for feedstocks.
NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging markets in advanced materials. The firm is the recognized leader in industry analysis and forecasts for a variety of functional plastics-related markets.
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Source: NanoMarkets, press release, 2012-12-10.