Global Bio-Based Polymer Market 2020 Growth Rate for Bio-Based Polymers far Above Overall Market Growth

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

The year 2020 was a promising year for bio-based polymers: Sold out PLA in 2019 has led to the installation of increased capacities, PE and PP made from bio-based naphtha are breaking ground and future expansion for bio-based polyamides as well as for PBAT, PHAs and casein polymers is on the horizon. A lower production is only observed for bio-based PET.

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Pathways to bio-based polymers
Pathways to bio-based polymers
(Source: Nova-Institut)

Hürth/Germany — Several global brands are already expanding their feedstock portfolio to include, next to fossil-based, sources of renewable carbon, CO2, recycling and especially biomass, increasing the demand for bio-based as well as biodegradable polymers. Nevertheless, at the same time, there is a lack of support from politics, which still only promotes biofuels and bioenergy.

The new market and trend report “Bio-based Building Blocks and Polymers – Global Capacities, Production and Trends 2020–2025” from the international nova biopolymer expert group shows capacities and production data for all bio-based polymers in the year 2020 and a forecast for 2025. In 2020, the total production volume of bio-based polymers was 4.2 million tonnes, which is 1 % of the total production volume of fossil-based polymers. For the first time in many years, the CAGR is, with 8 %, significantly higher than the overall growth of polymers (3–4 %) – this is expected to continue until 2025.

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Overall, the global land requirement for bio-based polymers is only 0.006 % of the global agricultural land. The major biomass feedstock used for bio-based polymer production is glycerol as a biogenic by-product (37 %).

In the annually updated market report for the year 2020, a total of 17 bio-based building blocks and 17 polymers are described, in addition to comprehensive information on the capacity development from 2020 to 2025 and production data for 2020 per bio-based polymer. Furthermore, the issue includes analyses of market developments and producers per building block and polymer, so that readers can quickly gain a comprehensive overview of current developments that goes far beyond capacity and production figures. As an additional bonus the report provides a detailed, comprehensive expert view on bio-based naphtha. Finally, the deep insight into manufacturing companies introduced in 2018 has been comprehensively updated and now shows 174 detailed company profiles — from start-ups to multinational corporations.

The data published annually by European Bioplastics are taken from the market report published by nova-Institute, but with a smaller selection of bio-based polymers.

The market and trend report was written by the international nova biopolymer expert group. The corresponding authors are from Asia, Europe and North America. The 2020 report is now available for € 3,000 at — in addition to further market studies on renewable carbon.