US Demand For Biodegradable Plastics To Grow 16% Annually Through 2014

CLEVELAND, OH | The Freedonia Group, a market research firm, reports the degradable plastic industry has been on the verge of commercial success for decades. However, demand growth was limited because most degradable plastics were too expensive, were unavailable in large enough quantities or had performance drawbacks that limited them to niche markets.  

This situation began to change in the early 2000s, as interest in environmentally friendly products gained strength, boosted by the efforts of major users like Wal-Mart. At the same time, the availability of biodegradable plastics increased significantly due to expansions by key producers. These and other trends are presented in Degradable Plastics, a new study from The Freedonia Group.

These positive trends are expected to continue, according to the report. US demand for degradable plastics is forecast to rise 16.6 percent per year to 325 million lb in 2014, valued at $380 million. Opportunities will reflect continued capacity growth, efforts to reduce pollution and US reliance on petroleum products, and consumer demand for sustainable, environmentally friendly packaging and manufactured goods.  

Polylactic acid (PLA) and starch-based plastics currently dominate the market and both products are expected to see strong growth. PLA will register the faster gains, over 20 percent per year through 2014, due to increased availability, greater processor familiarity and performance enhancements that will expand potential applications. Starch-based resins will benefit from the introduction of improved resin grades, blending with other biopolymers and an increasing number of suppliers. Opportunities are expected in compostable yard and kitchen bags, foodservice disposables and various types of packaging.  

Degradable Plastics is available for $4,800 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Dr., Cleveland, OH  44143-2326.  For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff at 440-684-9600, or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com.


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