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Biodegradable Plastic

There was a time when petroleum-derived plastics were the only option to make products that we use in our day-to-day lives. The time has changed and we moved into an era of plastic with biodegradable qualities.

What is Biodegradable Plastic?

Biodegradable plastic is a variation of plastic that can be naturally decomposed by microbes, carbon dioxide, and biomass under particular conditions. It refers to an eco-friendly product. It includes renewable raw materials and petroleum-based sources which degrade naturally in base compounds. It consumes less energy during the manufacturing process and results in the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), carbon footprint, and waste production. After exposure to the microorganism present in the environment, such plastic products disintegrate shortly.

The biodegradation of plastic is done in a controlled degradation in an inherent environment or by enzyme-assisted mechanisms, as the disposable condition is different worldwide.

Why Biodegradable Plastic?

  • High applicability. Reduces waste production.
  • Easy processing capabilities with conventional machining.
  • Different fillers (like clay, lime, wood paper, etc), can be added depending on the application.
  • Co-injection with materials (LDPE, HDPE, and PP) can be done.
  • Less energy consumption while manufacturing.
  • The plastic decomposes quickly and can be discarded using an organic process. It is easy to recycle.
  • Biodegradable plastic is the key to pollution-free nature as it reduces CO2 levels.
  • Composting bioplastic products makes the soil fertile. Though it is made using chemicals those are natural sources.

Biodegradable plastics and industrial sectors

The global biodegradable plastic market exhibited moderate growth from the year 2015-2020.

  • Packaging Sector- Packaging is the largest end-use industry worldwide. And thus, to make the environment eco-friendly these industries are switching to biodegradable plastic which accounted for the share of 53.5%, 2020, of the global biodegradable plastics market. Also, the Changes in the lifestyle of consumers and rising environmental concerns have boosted the demand for biodegradable plastics in the packaging industry.
  • Agriculture and Horticulture Sector - Due to its biodegradable nature, it is used for manufacturing mulching films and plant pots. This has increased the utilization of agricultural products in the burgeoning food and beverage (F&B) sector. And has become one of the key factors to uplift the market growth.

Global Biodegradable Plastic Market Trends:

  • The increasing awareness of non-biodegradable plastic products has driven awareness in the global market. Along with this, many countries worldwide are taking initiatives to impose bans on the usage of non-biodegradable plastic products. Thus, biodegradable plastic is getting a positive outlook for the global market. Concerning the environment, people are also demanding and started using eco-friendly alternatives. The various sectors in the market like food and beverages, personal care and cosmetics, and fashion are further driven by the widespread adoption of biodegradable plastic packaging solutions.
  • Other factors contributing to the market growth include continual technological advancements and rising investments by public and private firms that have introduced improved product variants in the market.
  • According to the factors, during 2021 – 2026, the market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8%. In 2021, the global biodegradable plastic market size was estimated at USD 4.1 billion, which is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.7%.
  • As Governments worldwide prohibiting the use of single-use plastic have risen awareness among people and have stimulated market growth. The increasing use of biodegradable plastics in packaging and agriculture has played a vital role in the growth of the segment. Non-decomposable plastics have become a global issue due to their hazardous effects. Globally all governments are tackling this problem by banning single-use plastics and promoting the use of biodegradable plastics. Consumers are willing to pay more for biodegradable plastic to save nature and make an eco-friendly environment.

Market Summary:

  • The U.S. plastic biodegradable market has been classified into starch-based, PLA, PBS, PBAT, PHA, and others, based on plastic type. Here the market is segregated into packaging, agriculture, consumer goods, and others, based on the end user.
  • Based on the Biodegradable Plastic market is divided into North America (including the United States and Canada), Asia-Pacific (includes China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, and others), Europe (includes Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, and others), Latin America (includes Brazil, Mexico, and others), and the Middle East and Africa.


Though Biodegradable plastic has environmental advantages, it also has drawbacks as the segregation of conventional plastics and biodegradable plastic becomes a tuff job.

Not all biodegradable plastics easily decompose in the natural environment, they require a specific environment in terms of moisture and temperature. During the decomposition process, some biodegradable plastics release greenhouse gases. These factors may act as stumbling stones in the upward climb of the market.

Research institutes and governments worldwide have taken necessary steps to make use of biodegradable plastic.

The applications of biodegradable plastics are increasing every day. They are reaching factories globally willing to make the environment eco-friendly and sustainable for everyone.

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