The global biodegradable polymer market should reach 5.6 billion pounds by 2021 from 2.4 billion pounds in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.0%, from 2016 to 2021.
- An overview of the global markets for biodegradable polymers, defined as polymers that are completely converted by microorganisms to carbon dioxide, water, and humus.
- Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2015, estimates for 2016, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021.
- A discussion of how this niche market is beset with a variety of roadblocks, led by high prices and lack of industrial infrastructure in the United States.
- A look at the strong global legislative mandate to increase the usage of these materials.
- Coverage of the chemical types of biodegradable polymers along with their properties, production, producers, and applications.
- Characterization of the industry by new technologies, stringent environmental restraints, and very unstable oil prices, among other issues.
- Profiles of major players in the industry.
Although the term biodegradable polymers is well known, the controversy within the industry as to which materials should be considered biodegradable continues unabated. These resins currently include polyolefin-based compositions containing starch and polymers containing aromatic groups that microorganisms have difficulty utilizing in their metabolism.
Furthermore, there are additives said to convert petroleum-based resins to biodegradable versions. These resultant resins are said to be oxo-biodegradable.
Part of the current debate revolves around defining an acceptable period of time for biodegradation to be completed. Almost all carbon-based materials are biodegradable, if given an acceptable period of time.
This report includes polymers that producers market as fully biodegradable. Most define a fully biodegradable polymer as a polymer that is completely converted by microorganisms to carbon dioxide, water and humus.
In the case of anaerobic biodegradation, carbon dioxide, methane and humus are the degradation products. However, many within the industry insist on a time period for degradation such that the terms biodegradable and compostable are not synonymous. The issue concerning biodegradable versus compostable resins is a very important issue that is discussed in detail.
Polymers derived from renewable resources (non-petroleum-based) are not covered unless they are considered biodegradable since many polymers derived from renewable resources are not biodegradable. These materials are often termed as bio-based. Some polymers are both bio-based and biodegradable.
This report covers the chemical types of biodegradable polymers along with their properties, production, producers and applications. The companies involved will be detailed in terms of their products, including trade names and their impact on the market. Definitions and standards, market drivers, biodegradation testing, environmental issues, composting and relevant technologies will also be discussed.
An examination of global consumption is provided along with considerable information regarding North American, European and Asian products, technologies, markets and companies.
Andrew McWilliams spent more than 25 years as a consultant with Ernst & Young, McKinsey & Company and A.T. Kearny focused on manufacturing before segueing into research analysis. He has been covering myriad technology categories for BCC Research for more than 15 years. McWilliams has a BA from Princeton University and an MA from Harvard University. He has worked in more than 40 countries and he resides in the greater Boston area.