Lucintel, one of the leading global management consulting and market research firms, has just released a detailed analysis on the bio-plastics industry entitles “Global Bio-plastics Industry 2013-2018: Trend, Forecast, and Opportunity Analysis”.
The global bio-plastics industry is expected to witness significant growth and reach an estimated $7.02 billion by 2018. The major driving forces of this growth are reported to be higher consumer acceptance in relation to concerns about climate change, increasing prices of fossil carbon sources and a willingness by governments and private companies to reduce dependence on fossil resources.
The wide variety of bio-plastics applications under development is a positive factor for the growth of bio-plastics as it allows substitution of petrochemicals based plastics and/or competing materials like metal and glass.
The biggest potential are to be founds in the sectors of consumer electronics, automotive and aircraft construction. Consumer packaging is also expected to become a big market opportunity as brand leaders like Coca-Cola, Heinz, Danone and Pepsico will shift to bioplastics.
On account of new technological developments, bio-plastics are moving out of the niche and gradually entering the mass market.
Lucintel highlights some of the major challenges likely to be faced by the industry. At the early commercial production stage Bio-plastics are generally two to three times more expensive than the conventional plastics.
Currently, bio-plastics resins cost at least twice as much as petrochemicals based resins. Price considerations will be the primary determinant for the rapid market penetration of bio-plastics . It is expected that rising petroleum costs will allow some bio-plastics resins to be able to achieve price parity with comparable petrochemicals based plastics.
The report also describes some of the key industry drivers. Life cycle analysis demonstrates that bio-plastics can reduce CO2 emissions by 30%-70% as compared to conventional plastics. This shows a significant reduction in hazardous waste that is caused by oil-derived plastics. Global business is now turning to bio-plastics as governments demand cleaner alternatives to petroleum-based technologies to reduce emission of greenhouse gas CO2. One metric ton of bio-plastics generates between 0.8 and 3.2 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide as compared to one metric ton of petroleum-based plastics.
Europe and North America remain hot destinations for research and development; they are also important as sales markets.
More than 89 figures/charts and 44 tables are provided in this roughly 167-page report.