Bioplastics Market Report



For some time now, bioplastics have been used for more than just garbage bags or mulch films: Biopolymers are increasingly found in durable high-performance products, for example in demanding automotive applications, casings for the electronics industry or materials for the construction industry. Biodegradability is often an advantage, for example for packaging films, disposable tableware or medical implants. By now, however, "bio" versions are available for virtually all types and applications of plastics. Polylactic acid (PLA), for example, is the primary material used for 3D printing. According to the latest edition of the Ceresana report on bioplastics, the global market for "green" polymers will continue to grow dynamically: the analysts expect bioplastics sales to rise to around USD 9.7 billion by 2031.


 Global Demand for Bioplastics in 2021


Renewable and Compostable Plastics

Climate protection, independence from crude oil and natural gas, environmentally friendly products and new opportunities for agriculture - bioplastics are associated with great hopes. Nevertheless, there is also a great deal of confusion surrounding these materials, as there is currently no generally recognized definition of bioplastics and no uniform labeling. The current Ceresana study looks at two material groups that can overlap but do not always have to be identical

  • biodegradable plastics that can be decomposed by microorganisms in the wild or at least composted in industrial plants,
  • bio-based plastics produced from renewable raw materials.

Some bioplastics meet both conditions: PHA from sugar and TPS from starch, for instance, are bio-based and biodegradable. However, there are also plastics made from biogenic raw materials that are not compostable, for example PEF from fructose or bio-polyethylene based on sugar cane. In contrast, some petrochemical plastics, i.e., plastics produced from crude oil or natural gas, can be biodegradable, such as PCL, PBAT or PBS.
The focus of this study is on biodegradable thermoplastics made from renewable raw materials. However, individual fully synthetic, biodegradable fossil-based plastics are also covered. By contrast, biobased elastomers, thermosets, natural fiber-reinforced plastics (NFK), and composites such as wood-plastic composites (WPC) are not considered here.

Green Polymers for the Circular Economy

Plastics and packaging play a major role in the "Circular Economy Action Plan" published by the European Union as part of its "Green Deal" to overcome the throwaway society and reduce waste. The EU Commission is working on a new policy framework on biobased, biodegradable and compostable plastics. This should clearly define what is meant by bioplastics and how they are to be disposed of. The project is rendered more complicated by the fact that biomass components are also increasingly being added to fossil plastics in order to reduce their carbon footprint. So far, it has not been defined at what proportion of renewable raw materials a "bio-attributed" or "mass-balanced" polymer blend may be marketed as a bioplastic. Plastics obtained with the help of genetically modified organisms are also controversial. In any case, the EU Commission wants to avoid greenwashing: Bio-based plastics should only be used if they offer "genuine ecological advantages" over fossil plastics and do not compete with food production, for example.

Highest Growth Rate for Polylactic Acids and Starch

Biodegradable plastics, for example polylactic acids (PLA) and starch polymers, reached a market share of 65% of the total bioplastics market in 2021. For this product group, Ceresana expects further volume growth of 10.4% per year until 2031. For biobased plastics that are not biodegradable, such as polyethylene, PET or PA, growth is expected to be lower at 7.5% per year. Ceresana's latest market report analyzes how the use of bioplastics is developing in the various sales markets. The most important application area in 2021 was the packaging industry: 58% of all bioplastics were processed in this area. Ceresana expects the highest growth rate in the "bags and sacks" segment.


The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 of the study provides a comprehensive portrayal and analysis of the global bioplastics market - including forecasts up to 2031: for each region, the development of demand (tonnes), revenue (USD and EUR) and production (tonnes) is outlined.

In addition, the individual application areas of bioplastics are analyzed:

  • rigid packaging
  • flexible packaging (bags, sacks, pouches and other packaging)
  • consumer goods
  • automotive and electronics
  • other applications

For the regions Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and "Rest of the World", the production of bioplastics is divided into the product groups:

  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Starch
  • other biodegradable plastics
  • non-biodegradable plastics

Bioplastics demand per region is broken down for the different types of plastics:

  • Polylactic acid (PLA)
  • Starch
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
  • Polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT)
  • Other biodegradable plastics
  • Bio-polyethylene (PE)
  • Other non-biodegradable plastics

In Chapter 2, the 8 most important sales countries are considered individually: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the USA, China, and Japan. The following are presented in each case: Demand and revenue, demand for each application area and demand per product type (PLA, starch-based, other biodegradable plastics, non-biodegradable biobased plastics).

Chapter 3 provides useful company profiles of the most important bioplastics manufacturers, clearly arranged according to contact details, revenues, profits, product range, production sites and brief profile. Detailed profiles are provided by 105 manufacturers, e.g. BASF SE, Braskem S.A., Far Eastern New Century Corporation (FENC), NatureWorks LLC, Novamont S.p.A., Rodenburg Biopolymers B.V., Teijin Limited, Total Corbion PLA BV, and Vegeplast S.A.S.


Scope of the Report:



Base Year


Trend Period

2019 - 2031

Forecast Period

2022 - 2031



Application Areas

Rigid packaging, Flexible Packaging (Bags, Sacks, Pouches and Other Packaging), Consumer Goods, Automotive and Electronics, and Other Applications

Product Groups

Polylactic acid (PLA), Starch, Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate (PBAT), Other Biodegradable Plastics, Bio-Polyethylene (PE), and Other Non-Biodegradable Plastics

Company Profiles

BASF, Braskem, Far FENC, NatureWorks, Novamont, Rodenburg, Teijin, Total Corbion, and Vegeplast (Selection)


7th edition


October 2022



How will bioplastics sales develop until 2031?

Analysts expect revenues generated with bioplastics to rise to approx. USD 9.7 billion by 2031.


Which product group has the highest market share in the bioplastics?

Biodegradable plastics, for example polylactic acids (PLA) and starch polymers, reached a market share of 65% of the total bioplastics market in 2021.


Which plastic types are not considered in this market study?

Fossil-based fiber-reinforced plastics, elastomers, thermosets, and wood-plastic composites (WPC) are not considered in this market study.


Which is the most important sales market for bioplastics?

The most important sales market for bioplastics in 2021 was the packaging industry - more than 58% of all bioplastics were processed here.

1  Market Data: World and Regions

1.1 World
1.1.1 Demand
1.1.2 Revenues
1.1.3 Production

1.1.4 Application Areas Rigid Packaging Flexible Packaging – Bags Flexible Packaging – Others Consumer Goods Automotive and Electronics Other Applications

1.1.5 Product Types Polylactic Acid (PLA) Starch-based Polyhydroxy-alkanoates (PHA) Polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) Other Biodegradable Plastics Bio-polyethylene (PE) Other nonbiodegradable plastics

1.2 Europe
1.2.1 Demand
1.2.2 Revenues
1.2.3 Production
1.2.4 Applications and Product Types

1.3 North America
1.3.1 Demand
1.3.2 Revenues
1.3.3 Production
1.3.4 Applications and Product Types

1.4 Asia-Pacific
1.4.1 Demand
1.4.2 Revenues
1.4.3 Production
1.4.4 Applications and Product Types

1.5 Rest of World
1.5.1 Demand
1.5.2 Revenues
1.5.3 Production
1.5.4 Applications and Product Types

2 Market Data: Country Profiles

(For each country: revenues, production, demand split by applications and product types)

2.1 Europe
2.1.1 France
2.1.2 Germany
2.1.3 Italy
2.1.4 Spain
2.1.5 United Kingdom
2.1.6 Other Europe

2.2 North America
2.2.1 Canada & Mexico
2.2.2 USA

2.3 Asia-Pacific
2.3.1 China
2.3.2 Japan
2.3.3 Other Asia-Pacific

3 Company Profiles*

3.1 Western Europe
Austria (2 Producers)
Belgium (2)
Finland (2)
France (3)
Germany (6)
Italy (7)
Spain (3)
Sweden (2)
Switzerland (2)
The Netherlands (6)
United Kingdom (1)

3.2 Eastern Europe
Slovakia (1)
Turkey (1)

3.3 North America
Canada (2)
Mexico (1)
USA (14)

3.4 South America
Brazil (1)

3.5 Asia-Pacific
Australia (2)
China (25)
Japan (11)
Singapore (1)
South Korea (5)
Taiwan (4)
Thailand (1)


*Note: The profiles are assigned to the country in which the company or holding is headquartered. Profiles also include JVs and subsidiaries.

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