According to a new report by the U.S. company Global Industry Analysts, growing environmental concerns and potential demand from the chemical, agricultural and plastic sectors is expected to propel the market for biodegradable polymers to about 392 million pounds by 2013.
Since their debut, biodegradable polymers have enjoyed significant developments in terms of advanced product technologies as well as application areas. Several advanced materials that offer greater degree of flexibility and biodegradability were introduced. Biodegradable polymers have slowly but steadily increased penetration in the marketplace in recent years.
Though high production costs are still a major impediment to rapid market growth, the disadvantage is partly offset by various benefits offered by the material. Increasing attention towards environmental issues, growing concerns over the massive volume of plastics disposed worldwide, and the need to adopt eco-friendly technologies in industries such as chemical and agriculture, are key factors driving market growth.
Europe largest market
Europe is the largest market for biodegradable polymers worldwide, estimated at 140 million pounds in 2007 as stated by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. United States is the second largest market followed by Japan at third position. Collectively, Europe, US and Japan account for over 90 percent of the global biodegradable polymers market. The global and regional markets are expected to grow at CAGRs (Compound Annual Growth Rates) ranging between 7% and 9%. Europe is set to emerge as the fastest growing regional market, at a growth rate higher than the global average. Use of biodegradable polymers in the packaging market is estimated at 110 million pounds in 2007. Use as compost bags is expected to reach 154 million pounds by 2010.
The global marketplace is characterized by the presence of participants such as Absorbable Polymers International, American Excelsior Company, BIOgroupUSA Inc., BASF AG, Biotec GmbH & CO. KG, CEREPLAST Inc., Cortec Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Daicel Chemical Industries, Eastman Chemicals Company, EarthShell Corporation, ECM BioFilms Inc., FP International, IRe Chemicals Limited, KTM Industries Inc., Metabolix Inc., Mitsubishi Plastics Inc., Mitsui Chemicals Inc, National Starch and Chemical Company, NatureWorks LLC, Novamont S.p.A, Planet Technologies Inc., Rodenburg Biopolymers, Showa High Polymer Co Ltd, Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH, Solvay Caprolactones Ltd, and Toyobo Co.
“Biodegradable Polymers: A Global Strategic Business Report” by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, challenges, product profile, players, competition, research and development activity, recent developments, mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic industry activities. Analysis is presented for major geographic markets such as United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, and Rest of world countries. Analytics are provided in terms of end-use segments including Packaging (Loose-fill/Other), Compost Bags, and Other Applications.
The full report was published in July 2007 and can be obtained at a cost of US$3.950.
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Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc., press release, 2007-07-19.