Western Europe becomes the largest market for biodegradable plastics

Western Europe becomes the largest market for biodegradable plastics

Research by IHS Markit, a market research and consulting company, shows that the use regulations and restrictive measures for plastic bags and disposable plastic products in the world can be said to increase with times The public's awareness of environmental protection is gradually awakening, and China's plastic ban is like the wings of a butterfly to affect many countries with flapping gently wings. On the other side, it drives the growth of demand for biodegradable plastics. According to the statistics, Western Europe is the largest market for degradable plastics due to the region has the strictest restrictions on the use of plastic shopping bags.

According to their report, the current market value of biodegradable plastics will reach $1.1 billion in 2018 and $1.7 billion by 2023. As for the amount, the demand for degradable polymer material will reach 360,000 tons this year. It is expected to increase to 550,000 tons by 2023, with an average annual increase of 9% in five years.

The degradable or decomposable polymer material may be a bio-based or fossil fuel-based polymer material that is decomposed into carbon dioxide and water by microorganisms through an industrial or municipal decomposition facility. Most of these materials are starch or PLA based materials. The largest end use and growth driver for degradable plastics are food packaging, disposable cutlery and bags.

According to HIS Markit's report, Western Europe has the strictest restrictions on the use of disposable plastic products, and the regulations are becoming more and more stringent. In 2018, the market value of its specialty polymer material accounts for 55% of the global total. Followed Asia and Oceania, they cover 25%. Then North America is 19%, and the rest of the world only accounts for 1%.

Part of the reason for the increased demand is that the cost competitiveness of biodegradable materials has been increasing compared to petroleum-based plastics. Marifaith Hackett , IFA Markit chemical specialist, director and also the main report of this report, emphasizes that legislation is the core factor in driving the growth of demand and improving the properties and processability of degradable polymer materials significantly in recent years. She advised: "Italy and France prohibit the use of non-degradable plastic shopping bags, which increases the consumption of degradable polymer materials in these countries. And European countries will definitely carry out legislation to prohibit the use of plastic shopping bags persistently."

However, the demand for degradable materials is still less than conventional plastics. According to data provided by IHS Markit, the demand for the world's most widely used plastic PE has almost increased doubled in the past 20 years and will exceed 100 million tons by 2018.

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