04. Dec 2019
The results of the European Bioplastics’ annual market data update, presented today at the 14th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin, confirm a dynamic growth of the global bioplastics industry.
“In an increasingly environmentally conscious environment, the global market for bioplastics is predicted to grow by more than 15 percent over the next five years“, says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of European Bioplastics. “This trend is possible thanks to the steadily increasing demand for sustainable products by both consumers and brands alike and the continuous efforts of the bioplastics industry to develop innovative materials with improved properties and new functionalities.”
The global bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 2.1 million tonnes in 2019 to 2.4 million tonnes in 2024, driven by the entry of innovative biopolymers such as PP (polypropylene) and PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates). PHA production has now reached commercial scale and capacities are expected to more than triple in the next five years. This family of biodegradable biopolyesters feature a wide array of physical and mechanical properties.
Biobased PP production capacities are predicted to jump almost six-fold by 2024, due to the extremely wide application area of this material. PP is a very versatile material that features excellent barrier properties. Drop-in bio-PP can replace fossil-based PP with no further modifications required.
Bio-based, non-biodegradable plastics, including the drop-in solutions bio-based PE (polyethylene) and bio-based PET (polyethylene terephthalate), as well as bio-based PA (polyamides), currently make up for around 44 percent (almost 1 million tonnes) of the global bioplastics production capacities. The production of bio-based PE is predicted to continue to grow as new capacities are planned to come on line in Europe in the coming years. Intentions to increase production capacities for bio-based PET, however, have not been realised nearly at the rate predicted in previous years, but actually declined over the years. Instead, the focus has shifted to the development of PEF (polyethylene furanoate), a new polymer that is expected to enter the market in 2023. PEF is comparable to PET, but is fully bio-based and furthermore features superior barrier and thermal properties, making it an ideal material for beverage bottles.
Packaging remains the largest field of application for bioplastics with almost 53 percent (1.14 million tonnes) of the total bioplastics market in 2019. The data also confirms that bioplastics materials are already being used in many other sectors, and the portfolio of application continues to diversify. Segments, such as automotive & transport or building & construction, significantly increased their relative share.
With a view to regional capacity development, Asia remains a major production hub with over 45 percent of bioplastics currently being produced there. Presently, one fifth of the production capacity is located in Europe. This share is predicted to grow to up to 30 percent by 2024.
The land used to grow the renewable feedstock for the production of bioplastics is estimated to be 0.7 million hectares in 2019, and continues to account for only around 0.02 percent of the global agricultural area of 4.8 billion hectares. Despite the market growth predicted in the next five years, the land use share for bioplastics will remain at only around 0.02 percent. „The data shows once more that there is no competition between renewable feedstock for food and feed, and the use for bioplastics" says Francois de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics, "94 percent of all arable land is used for pasture, feed and food."
The market data update 2019 has been compiled in cooperation with German research institute nova-Institute (Hürth, Germany). The data for the global production capacities of bioplastics is based on the market study “Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers” by nova-Institute (2020).
For more information on the study and full market data report, please go to http://www.bio-based.eu/markets.
Summary market data 2019 available for download on the EUBP website.