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Bioplastics Food Packaging Market Analysis Sees Great Potential For Bioplastics in Food Packaging

Editor: Dominik Stephan

The scarcity of crude oil and a growing consciousness for the problems associated with plastic waste from packaging material make lead to a growing interest in degradable bioplastics. A new market study by Frost & Sullivan sees great chances for bioplastics as cost effective mass products.

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A new market analysis predicts great potentials for bioplastics in the packaging industry. Biopolymer foils like the one in the picture are already used for food packagings. (Picture: BASF)
A new market analysis predicts great potentials for bioplastics in the packaging industry. Biopolymer foils like the one in the picture are already used for food packagings. (Picture: BASF)

Frankfurt/Germany – Frost & Sullivan expects the profits from bioplastics on the European Market to grow up to EUR 475,5 million in 2016 (from a profit of EUR 142,6 million in 2016). The survey sees increasing prices for raw materials and a growing consciousness for the environmental impact of packaging waste as the driving forces behind this growth.

Most packaging material today is made from plastics based on crude oil - recycling these plastics is a complicated process. Their dependence on oil as basic raw material couples the price for these plastics indirect with the crude oil price. Especially short-lived, single use packaging of foods and consumer goods (according to study about 12 percent of the total packaging amount) could well be made from bioplastics with the same hygienic qualities, especially from starch based or Polyactid acid plastics.

Mass Produced Bioplastics Will Bring Break-Through, Analysts Predict

Due to the competitive pressure on the plastics market, bioplastics today still have difficulties with competing with cheaper oil based polastics. The unstable politic situation in several middle east countries and a stetic grow of the crude oil price from the relative stable prices in the mid-nineties could well make alternative resources for plastics more competitive. Some of the diffiulties with cost-efficient production could nevertheless be overcome if bioplastics are produced as a mass product by the big players on the synthetics market, Frost & Sullivan analysts predict.

"Focusing on increased production capacities and the efficient use of them could well help to overcome the difference in price between biopolymers and conventional plastics;" explains Sujatha Vijayan, Research Analyst of Frost & Sullivan. "This will generate growths on the market and help to find replacements for oil-based polymers in numerous applications." But also administrations could play an important part in the break-through of biopolymers: by offering tax privileges or legal regulations in favour of bioplastics, Frost & Sullivan says.

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