US demand for degradable plastics to grow 16.6%
US demand for degradable plastics is set to grow 16.6% per year to 325 million pounds (147.7 million kilos) by 2014, giving the market a value of $380m, according to a new Freedonia report.
Freedonia says that even though degradable plastics have been on the market for decades, growth was limited because of high cost and various performance drawbacks.
Now, interest in ‘environmentally friendly’ products is strong and future opportunities will come from “continued capacity growth, efforts to reduce pollution and US reliance on petroleum products, and consumer demand for sustainable, environmentally packaging and manufactured goods”, says the firm.
PLA and starch-based plastics currently dominate the market and both will continue to experience strong growth. The PLA market is expected to grow 20.5% per annum to 2014, totalling 140 million pounds (63.6 million kilos). The starch-based plastics market will grow 11.2% to 85 million pounds (38.6 million kilos).
However, Freedonia says a relatively new product – polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) – will experience rapid growth rates of 103.6%, boosting the market to 35 million pounds (15.9 million kilos) by 2014
“While sales of PHA were negligible in 2009, rapid growth over the next ten years should boost the product up among the leading types of degradable plastics,” says Freedonia. “Growth is predicted on significant capacity increases, competitive pricing and the development of grades capable of replacing polyolefins in higher performance injection moulded articles.”