Press Release

Degradable Plastic Industry: Positive Trends Expected to Continue


September 9th, 2010

Global Information Inc. would like to present a new market research report, "Bioplastics" by The Freedonia Group.

On the verge of commercial success for decades, demand growth in the degradable plastic industry was largely limited by high costs, lack of availability in large quantities, and performance limitations outside of niche markets. However, the scenario has changed considerably since the early 2000s. Growth in demand for degradable plastics is improving due to increased interest in environmentally friendly products and boosted efforts from major users such as Wal-Mart. Other major trends include expansions by key producers in the industry, which has dramatically increased the availability of biodegradable plastics.

Positive trends in US degradable plastics industry to persist

US demand for degradable plastics is forecast to rise 16.6 percent per year to 325 million pounds in 2014, which is valued at approximately $380 million. According to The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm, "Opportunities will reflect continued capacity growth, efforts to reduce pollution and US reliance on petroleum products, and consumer demand for sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging and manufactured goods."

Key findings:

  • Strong growth is expected for both polylactic acid (PLA) and starch-based plastics. These two products currently dominate the market.
  • Due to increased availability, performance enhancements expanding potential applications, and heightened processor familiarity, PLA will post faster gains, specifically 20% annually through 2014.
  • Strong outlook for degradable plastics encourages new product developments, such as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA).
  • Fast growth of PHA through the next decade should increase this products ranking among the leading degradable plastic types.

US DEGRADABLE PLASTIC DEMAND
(million pounds)
% Annual Growth
Item2004200920142004-20092009-2014
      
Degradable Plastic Demand7715132514.416.6
Polylactic Acid205514022.420.5
Starch-Based25508514.911.2
Cellulose1620254.64.6
Petroleum-Based1219309.69.6
Polyhydroxyalkanoates--135--103.6
Other46108.410.8

©2010 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.


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