Global Bio-Polymer Market - Segmented by Application, End-user Industry, and Geography - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 - 2023)

The bio-polymer market is expected to grow at a rapid rate during the forecast period (2018 - 2023). Europe is the leading and fastest-growing region with high research and development in the bio-polymer market. The growing concerns for the environment, for human health, and to reduced carbon content are the major reason that drives the bio-polymer market.

Growing Demand from the Food Industry

Bio-polymers are being used to develop high-performance coatings which are able to improve the original properties of the plastic layer beneath, as a consequence of the coating deposition. There is an increasing demand to replace the synthetic polymers used in packaging applications and to reduce the overall amount of plastic used. Bio-polymers, possibly combined with inorganic compounds, will be used to generate a new class of “bio-nanocomposite-hybrid-coating”. This is expected to create an eco-friendly packaging substitute with the same performance of the conventional packaging.

Bio-Medical Industry is the Fastest Growing Segment

With the increased technological developments and research in the medical industry, there is an increased interest towards bio-polymers because of their biomedical applications, such as in tissue engineering, pharmaceutical carriers, and medical devices. A common biopolymer, gelatin, has been widely applied in medicine for dressing wounds as an adhesive. Electrospun PLGA-based scaffolds have been applied extensively in biomedical engineering, such as in tissue engineering and drug-delivery system. MWCNT-incorporated electrospun nanofibers with a high surface area to volume ratio and porous characteristics have also shown potential applications in many aspects of tissue engineering. Cross-linking improves the properties of the bio-polymers, which provides for an option to improve the characteristics of the present bio-materials.

Asia-Pacific is the Largest Market

Asia-Pacific is observed to be the largest growing market, in terms of value and volume. The rising product demand in the orthopedics and drug delivery applications, along with the rising healthcare spending, is projected to promote the biopolymers market growth in the region. From the perspective of end-user industries, such as packaging, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to fuel the demand for extruded plastics also. Asia also has the advantage that genetically modified plants are easier to realize and new outlets for agriculture are faster to build.

Key Developments in the Market

February 2018: Mitsubishi Chemical started full-scale sales of the new grade of ‘DURABIO’ bio-based engineering plastic for bottles. DURABIO features higher transparency than polycarbonate, higher strength than acrylic, and improved resistance to cracking.

June 2017: NatureWorks licenses Plaxica’s optipure D-lactic acid process technology to expand its Ingeo Product Portfolio. This investment is part of NatureWorks' long term strategy for leading the market with cost-effective, functional biopolymers.

Major Players: BASF SE, Battelle, Petrochemie Danubia, NatureWorks LLC, Indorama Ventures Public Ltd, PolyOne, Arkema, TradePro Inc., Metabolix Inc., Showa High Polymers Ltd, and Zeneca Bioproducts, among others.

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