Owing to the rising environmental concerns, scarcity of natural resources, and volatility in fossil fuel prices, governments & companies across Asia-Pacific are taking several initiatives to find & adopt substitutes of oil-based products. Bio-based products have great potential to minimize the consumption of petroleum-derived materials, which can further help reduce the adverse impact of increasing carbon footprints on the environment.
Polylactic acid, a bio-based product, is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester formed using renewable resources like corn, sugarcane, beetroot, cassava, plant feed, etc. It is used for making various sustainable plastic-based products like poly bags, films, fiber cables, etc. Across Asia-Pacific, it is utilized extensively to minimize pollution levels & the dependency on petroleum-based plastic products.
The Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 16% during the forecast period, i.e., 2021-26. The major factors attributing to the polylactic acid market growth are rising adoption of biodegradable products and surging price competitiveness compared to petrochemical-based plastic. In addition, polylactic acid is lightweight & extensively used in manufacturing a wide range of additives that can be blended with other materials, which, in turn, propels the overall market growth.
Polylactic acid is derived using corn, plant feed, sugarcane, etc. Since Asia-Pacific has a huge potential to grow sugarcane & corn, it further supports the growth of the polylactic acid market in the region. Moreover, the extensive manufacturing capabilities of China and surging investments in developing new polylactic acid production plants in Thailand are also projected to boost the market. Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market growth. According to the Chinese government's Jilin Provincial Commercial Information Center, the country's PLA demand stood at around 160,000-180,000 tons in 2019, which is expected to rise by 15% to 25% in the upcoming years.
Moreover, the biodegradable property of polylactic acid makes it an eco-friendly material. Thus, rising awareness regarding the need to reduce environmental pollution is encouraging the adoption of polylactic acid across Asia-Pacific. It has a wide range of applications across several fields, including plastic household products, packaging materials, internal fixation of bone fracture, surgical sutures, textile fabrics, carpets, and household decorations.
|Study Period||Historical Data: 2016-19|
|Base Year: 2020|
|Forecast Period: 2021-26|
|Countries Covered||China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia & New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam|
|Key Companies Profiled||Natureworks Llc., BASF, Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Corporation, Zhejiang Hisun Biomaterials Co Ltd, Futerro Sa, BEWiSynbra, Teijin Limited, Thyssenkrupp Ag, Green Dot Bioplastics, Good Natured Products Inc, Total Corbion Pla|
|Unit Denominations||USD Million/Billion|
Impact of the Covid-19 on the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market
By Product Form:
Based on the product form, films & sheets acquired the largest share of the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market in the historical period and are expected to maintain their leading position during 2021-26. The packaging industry is considered the major end-user of polylactic acid, where the demand for sheets & films is significantly high. With the benefit of the low permeability of film derived from starch, Polylactic Acid acts as a suitable material for food packaging applications.
Similarly, in the agriculture sector, polylactic acids are used in the form of mulch films, i.e., considered a perfect substitute for oil-based plastics like polypropylene, polyester, or polyethylene. It provides significant environmental benefits, including bio-based origin & compostability. Hence, with these benefits, the adoption of polylactic acid-based films & sheets is expected to propel during the forthcoming period.
Further, the demand for polylactic acid-based coatings is also expecting substantial growth in the coming years since they are widely used as additives in the packaging industry for transparent or opaque thermoformed packagings. Besides, they are also used for blow & injection molding of complex parts in the industrial sector. Moreover, Polylactic Acid-based coatings help reduce pathogenic adulterations on the surface of fruits, thereby declining the risk of developing food-related diseases. Hence, the burgeoning demand for polylactic acid coatings is well-contributing to the overall market growth.
Amongst all applications, the Packaging industry has accounted for the largest share of the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market. The rising awareness regarding the harmful impact of traditional plastics on the environment and mounting demand for affordable, recyclable, & eco-friendly materials in the packaging industry is driving the demand for polylactic acid for packaging applications.
Further, the ban imposed by governments of Asian countries, including India, China, Japan, Australia, etc., on using conventional plastics is another crucial aspect contributing to the burgeoning demand for biodegradable plastic. For instance:
Hence, these aspects are projected to drive manufacturers’ attention towards using sustainable alternatives to plastic, which, in turn, would boost the market across the packaging sector.
On the other hand, in the transport industry, polylactic acid is used mainly to engineer automotive parts like seat covers, bumpers, interior components, body panels, seat covers, etc. Currently, thermoplastics like Polycarbonate (PC), Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyamide, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), etc., are used widely in the automotive engine compartments & interiors.
Moreover, in the agriculture sector, polylactic acid is used in the form of mulch films, which help modify soil temperatures, reduce moisture loss, limit weed growth, and enhance crop yield. Polylactic acid helps improve the growth of food & vegetable crops. However, due to the lack of awareness, the adoption of polylactic acid is slow across the agriculture sector.
Recent Trends in the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market
Increasing Inclination of Governments of India & Bangladesh towards Green Packaging
The rising awareness regarding the surging levels of carbon emissions from the packaging industry has inclined several governments across Asia-Pacific towards promoting the usage of eco-friendly & sustainable packaging. Besides, there is an increasing demand for biodegradable & recyclable materials in the packaging industry to minimize their contribution to carbon footprints. Moreover, the governments of Bangladesh & India have also banned the usage of single-use plastic and are shifting towards Green Packaging.
Likewise, several efforts are being made to use polylactic acid-based plastic in various applications. Hence, the increasing government initiatives to promote using environment-friendly packaging is projected to boost the demand for Polylactic Acid across Asia-Pacific in the years to come.
Amongst all countries, China is significantly contributing to the growth of the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market. In 2017, the Chinese government announced a ban on importing most plastic waste since non-biodegradable plastic waste pollutes waterways & harms agricultural fields. Besides, in 2020, the government also announced to restrict & ban the utilization of non-biodegradable plastic goods. Consequently, rising initiatives by the Chinese government to control pollution by promoting the usage of biodegradable products that can be recycled are leading to the increasing demand for polylactic acid in China.
China's textile industry is also experiencing considerable growth, owing to the easy availability of raw materials, low-cost labor, & fewer commercial barriers. Thus, the demand for textile products, including clothes, shoes, other accessories, is increasing, which, in turn, is fueling the growth of the Polylactic Acid Market in Asia-Pacific.
Further, the market is expected to experience the fastest growth in India over the forecast years. It is due to the rising awareness among people regarding sustainable environmental concerns and the harmful impact of consuming conventional plastic products. In addition, stringent government regulations have led to the surging usage of biodegradable plastic products to replace non-recyclable plastic, thereby boosting the market. For instance:
Key Driver: Easy Availability of Raw Materials
Corn, sugarcane, wheat, etc., are the most prominent crops required for manufacturing polylactic acid. These are renewable crops & easily available in countries like India, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., where India & China are amongst the major producers, owing to the massive production of these crops. It results in their easy availability & access for the polylactic acid manufacturers. Due to this, many companies are taking several initiatives toward establishing their manufacturing plants across Asia-Pacific and, in turn, driving the market.
Possible Challenge: High Costs of Polylactic Acid Compared to Conventional Plastics
The costs of Polylactic Acid-based products are relatively higher than conventional plastics. The development of polymerization & processing technologies, various government regulations, and variations in raw material supply are the major factors that impact the prices of polylactic acid. The production of polylactic acid, which surpasses the expenses of producing fossil-based plastics, generally involves raw material extraction, glucose extraction, fermentation, and polymerization. Since these different production steps & inputs are highly essential, it affects the overall cost structure of polylactic acid. Hence, these high costs might restrain the growth of the Polylactic Acid Market across Asia-Pacific in the coming years.
According to the MarkNtel Advisors, the major leading players in the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid market are Natureworks LLC, BASF, Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Corporation, Futerro Sa, Green Dot Bioplastics, Total Corbion PLA, etc.
Key Questions Answered in the Market Research Report:
Market Outlook, Segmentation and Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions
A. The Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of around 16% during 2021-26.
A. The Packaging industry holds the largest share of the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market, which shall create lucrative growth opportunities for the leading industry players during 2021-26.
A. Mounting awareness regarding the harmful impact of conventional plastics, coupled with the increasing adoption of bio-degradable products, are the key factors projected to drive the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market during 2021-26.
A. In the coming years, the Asia-Pacific Polylactic Acid Market expects significant expansion, owing to the increasing demand for polylactic acid for manufacturing PPE kits & face masks.