The increased need for bioplastic is what is causing the polylactic acid (PLA) industry to rise. Also, the government is putting policies into place, providing subsidies, and providing assistance to encourage the growing use of biodegradable products. In addition, the need to reduce pollution and protect the environment is one of the main factors encouraging more parties to use bioplastics rather than conventional plastic made from petroleum. The market is further helped by technological developments, strong consumer demand from developing nations, and technological transfer from developed economies, which all help to fuel the expansion of the polylactic acid-using businesses in the textile, packaging, and electronics sectors.
The recession will have a significant effect on the market for polylactic acid (PLA). Consumer spending tends to decrease during a recession, which may result in a decline in the market for goods derived from PLA, such as textiles, disposable flatware, and biodegradable packaging. As a result, the demand for PLA may decline, which may have an impact on the market's overall growth. Furthermore, a slowdown in production and market expansion may result from firms and investors being less inclined to invest in new or current PLA production facilities during a recession.
Growing Demand from Packaging Industry to Drive Market Growth
The primary use of polylactic acid is in packaging. According to the European Bioplastics, 59 percent of the biodegradable plastics generated in 2019 were used in packaging. Biodegradable packaging accounts for 0.5% of all plastic packaging produced. Flexible packaging uses almost 500,000 tonnes of biodegradable plastic. Many multinational corporations have either taken steps or made plans to greatly increase the usage of biodegradable plastic in the consumer packaged goods, supermarkets, and foodservice markets. This increases the demand for biodegradable bags, PLA packaging for fresh produce, and PLA cutlery. Many advantages of PLA bioplastics help decrease plastic consumption while promoting the use of environmentally friendly plastics. Because of its outstanding barrier qualities, PLA is a great choice for packing fresh produce. Its high rigidity and strength also enable the design of parts with thin walls. Hence, it is projected that throughout the forecast period, increasing consumer demand for environmentally friendly packaging will drive the market for polylactic acid.
High Cost of Polylactic Acid (PLA) to Limit Market Growth
The market's growth is constrained in several application categories by PLA's higher price compared to conventional polymers. PLA often has a 20–80% greater production cost than traditional polymers. Although most techniques are still in the development stage and have not yet reached economies of scale, this is mostly caused by the high polymerisation cost of PLA. Though less expensive to produce than traditional plastics, PLA is still more expensive than PE and PP, which are made from petroleum. Bio-based materials are still in the development phase in general. Compared to their petrochemical rivals, which have been evolving quickly for more than 50 years, they have not been as marketed. The main reasons for PLA's sluggish adoption in various industries are its higher R&D and production costs as a result of small-scale production and the substantial price premium over conventional petroleum-based plastics.
Based on grades, the polylactic acid (PLA) market is segmented into thermoforming grade, injection molding grade, extrusion grade, blow molding grade and others. The thermoforming grade category dominated the market in 2022. Thermoplastics made of PLA are entirely biodegradable and compostable. When made into sheets for thermoforming, they exhibit characteristics resembling those of resins derived from petroleum. While thermoforming, different PLA blends exhibit various features. Compared to parts created from OPS and PET, thermoformed PLA parts have superior clarity. These qualities make thermoformed PLA perfect for food packaging trays for baked items, fruits, and vegetables, as well as for storage temperature requirements.
Based on application, the polylactic acid (PLA) market is segmented into rigid thermoforms, films & sheets, bottles and others. The rigid thermoforms category dominated the market in 2022. The shape or form of rigid thermoforming is rigid. Particularly in packaging applications, "design for recycling" initiatives can help maximise the recovery rate for waste plastics. This can be achieved by lowering obstacles to recycling caused by product design. In the rigid thermoforming sector, PLA is expanding due to its potential for recycling. Paperboard or fiberboard are the materials used to make rigid packaging. This kind of packaging is mostly utilised in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
Based on industries, the polylactic acid (PLA) market is segmented into packaging, consumer goods, agriculture, textile, biomedical and others. The packaging category dominated the market in 2022. The packaging sector uses polylactic acid extensively. Businesses have developed a greater appetite for single-use plastic and food packaging, and they have discovered biodegradable alternatives for both. Furthermore, a shift to biodegradable packaging has been supported by numerous e-commerce behemoths, driving the biodegradable market for the delivery of food and online goods.
North America is projected to hold the largest share of the polylactic acid (PLA) market over the forecast period due to supportive government regulations for the manufacturing of polylactic acid, as well as the simple accessibility of the raw materials for its production in the nations of this region, especially in the United States. The market in North America will be driven by the rising demand for packaged and ready-to-eat foods that are convenient and have nutritional value, as well as by the alteration in consumer lifestyles. On the other hand, the Asia Pacific polylactic acid (PLA) market is anticipated to grow significantly due to rising research and development spending by important market participants and rising regional awareness of the use of bioplastics. Governments in the region are also providing incentives for the manufacturing of biodegradable goods in order to lessen environmental worries, which is another reason projected to boost expansion of the target industry in the Asia Pacific region.
LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:
- Total Corbion PLA
- NatureWorks LLC
- SUPLA (JIANGSU SUPLA BIOPLASTICS CO.. LTD.)
- Jiangxi Keyuan Bio-Material Co. Ltd
- Shanghai Tong-Jie-Liang Biomaterials Co., Ltd.
- Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co., Ltd.
- In June 2021, the development of NatureWorks' fully integrated Ingeo Polylactic Acid manufacturing facility received approval from the Thailand Board of Investment. The factory is expected to be operational by 2024 and have a 75000-ton annual capacity to produce Ingeo biopolymer.
|Market Size in 2022||USD 1.1 Billion|
|Market Forecast in 2030||USD 2.4 Billion|
|Compound Annual Growth Rate||11.90 %|
|Unit||Revenue (USD Million) and Volume (Kilo Tons)|
|Segmentation||By Grades, By Application, By Industries and By Geography|