COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY MAY 2020
The global market for Bioplastics and Biopolymersis projected to reach US$17 billion by 2025, driven by the growing confidence in the ability of these materials to provide an antidoteto the growing threat of plastic waste. Biopolymers comprise Bio-PET, Bio-PE, Starch Blends, Biodegradable polymers, Regenerated Cellulose, starch based polymers, Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Poly HydroxyAlkanoates (PHA). While common plastics are widely available, the need for Bio-plastics is increasing due to sustenance and bio-degradable properties. PLA is used extensively due to recyclable property, thus enhancing demand for environment-friendly, bio-based packaging solutions. On the environment front, the world is disappointingly off-track on meeting climate change goals. Global CO2 emissions continue to rise, while committed reductions flatline.Existing policies and environmental pledges continue to remain inadequate to meet slated goals. To achievemeaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, countries must triple their emission cut targets. EU, for instance, must hit net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Given the impracticality of achievingsuch deep cuts in emissions, bioplastics and biopolymers are growing in value for their contribution towards achieving the goal of a circular economy. Although not necessarily biodegradable, bioplastics and biopolymers are promoted as environment friendly. Bioplastics based on renewable resources can also remain in the environment for years. PLA, for instance, although compostable requires industrial help in creating a favorable environmental condition for the biodegrading process. The only environmental benefit offered is the displacement of the current 5% use of the world`s oil production for plastics. This nevertheless is a huge benefit asit reduces GHG emissions significantlyas oil-based plastics require substantial amounts of energy to manufacture. The use of carbon-based sources of energy for use in plastics manufacturing is identified as a single most important factor impeding the world`s attempts to cut CO2 emissions.Factors such as increasing consumer awareness about sustainability and lifestyle improvements are expected to push the demand for quality products including bioplastics and biopolymers. While government subsidies on bioplastics and taxes on traditional plastics are likely to augment market growth, technological advances are expected to result in introduction of innovative and sustainable bioplastics offerings. Though the overall size of the bioplastics & biopolymers market is relatively insignificant in comparison to the size of the oil-based plastics industry, the former is bound to register dramatic gains. Some of the major factors that are anticipated to favor bioplastics and biopolymers over traditional plastics include regulations and mandates, strong focus of organizations on sustainability, cost reduction and technology stabilization. However, the transition from plastics to bioplastics and biopolymers is expected to depend heavily on effective implementation of related guidelines, monitoring, efforts to ensure proper recycling of bioplastics and programs to encourage customer shift from paper bags towards biodegradable and compostable bioplastics. The application area with the biggest impact will be the packaging sector. Bioplastics currently represent a relatively modest share of the overall plastics packaging market as compared to conventional plastics. However, the poor state of technological advances in plastics recycling is expected to be a major factor that willdrive the demand and urgency to develop biopolymers to combat environmental issues related to plastics. In addition, the demand for naturally-occurring polymers, such as cellulose and starch, are expected to surge significantly for biodegradable plastics packaging applications. The use of aliphatic-aromatic polyester polymers in the packaging industry is also likely to increase in the coming years.