Green Matter: Europe still top consumer of biodegradable polymers


Europe continues to be largest consuming region for biodegradable polymers, accounting for more than half of global total, says a newly published IHS Chemical global market research report.

According to the report, mounting consumer pressure and legislation such as plastic bag bans and global warming initiatives will increase demand for biodegradable polymers (plastics) in North America, Europe and Asia from 269,000 tonnes in 2012 to nearly 525,000 tonnes in 2017, representing an average annual growth rate of nearly 15% during the five-year period 2012-2017.

In terms of biodegradable polymer end-uses, it is estimated that the food packaging (including fast-food and beverage containers), dishes and cutlery markets are the largest end-uses and the major growth drivers. In both North America and Europe, these markets account for the largest uses, and strong double-digit growth is expected in the next several years. Foam packaging once dominated the market and continues to represent significant market share for biodegradable polymers, behind food packaging, dishes and cutlery. Compostable bags, as well as single-use carrier plastic bags, follow foam packaging in terms of volume....
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