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Four Factors Driving Bioplastics Cheat Sheet by

Factors driving increase in bioplastics
global     factors     packaging     bioplastics


A new report from Technavio forecasts that the global biopla­stics market will grow at a CAGR exceeding 29% from 2016 through 2020. The report, “Global Biopla­stics Market 2016-2­020,” covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global biopla­stics in the key regions of Europe, North America, Asia-P­acific, and the rest of the world. Notes Technavio, even though Europe held the largest share of the global biopla­stics market in 2015, the report predicts its share to decline by the end of 2020.

The report indicates that four factors are contri­buting to the growth of the global biopla­stics market

Emergence of bio-based & renewable raw materials

The global biopla­stics market is driven by the emergence of renewable resources, biomass, and bio-based raw materials such as starch and vegetable crop deriva­tives. The use of biopla­stics in numerous applic­ations such as packaging and domestic goods has enabled plastics manufa­cturers to reduce the overde­pen­dence on petrol­eum­-based plastics.

Biomass includes grass, trees, plants, and other organic materials such as animal meat and other tissues that decompose by the activities of microo­rga­nisms. This has shifted the trend of plastic manufa­cturers toward biopla­stics based on renewable sources. Raw materials required for the production of biopla­stics are renewable in origin, and the supply is abundant globally compared to petroleum and fossil­-based raw materials. Therefore, the global outlook for bio-based raw materials for plastics is signif­icantly more positive than that of petrol­eum­-based raw materials.

Consumer preference for eco-fr­iendly packaging

There is an “Incre­asing demand of consumers for eco-fr­iendly packaging is shifting the focus of major plastics manufa­cturers and packaging vendors toward bioplastic packaging. The need to conform with government regula­tions is forcing vendors to focus on manufa­cturing biopla­stics and map out their products in the export market.”

The increasing acceptance of consumers for sustai­nable packaging and green products will drive the biopla­stics market during the forecast period. This is forcing vendors to consume more green packaging labels as a strategy for branding as well as customer acquis­ition.


The growing prominence of bioplastic

Plastics take approx­imately 100 years to break down or decompose, and so they lie in landfills for an extended period. Biopla­stics break down and are absorbed back into the enviro­nment. In addition, Technavio notes, the rate of decomp­osition of biodeg­radable biopla­stics by the activities of microo­rga­nisms is much faster than that of tradit­ional plastics. .

The adoption of green procur­ement policies

Government measures toward purchasing sustai­nable and eco-fr­iendly products are another factor driving the market for biopla­stics. In addition, manufa­cturers are also increa­singly striving toward developing sustai­nable solutions, which have minimum enviro­nmental hazards for their customers. For example, in Mexico, in August 2009, all non-bi­ode­gra­dable plastic bags were officially banned. Under the 2005 Law of Agricu­lture Policy, the agricu­lture ministry of France began promoting biopla­stics and was aiming to have all plastic carrier bags as biodeg­radable by 2015.

Such legisl­ation policies have become more frequent in recent times, especially in Europe where enviro­nmental awareness is high. For instance, the Green Dot system is used for tradit­ional packaging wherein companies contribute a certain fee to the cost of recycling packaging waste. To increase the use of biopla­stics, Germany has exempted bioplastic packaging from Green Dot license fees, fueling the demand for biopla­stics. In addition to legisl­ations curbing the use of tradit­ional plastics, govern­ments are also offering incentives such as tax exemptions and certif­ica­tions to vendors that produce and promote green materials.

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