The global biodegradable polymers market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period (2016-2022). The growth in the global market is being driven by increasing awareness about environment and unstable crude oil prices. The environmental pollution caused by the use of petroleum-based polymers, which are non-biodegradable in nature, has resulted in growing demand for biodegradable polymers. Additionally, increasing concern about the environment has shifted the focus from petroleum-based polymers to biodegradable polymers market.
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Biodegradable polymers are bio-based or synthetic polymers, which decompose to carbon dioxide and water under the action of microorganisms in industrial or municipal compost facilities. These polymers break down after their intended purpose to result in natural byproducts such as gases (CO2, N2), water, biomass, and inorganic salts. These polymers occur naturally and synthetically, and consist of ester, amide, and ether functional groups. Biodegradable polymers are used in agricultural, pharmaceutical, packaging and biomedical applications.
The global biodegradable polymers market has been categorized on the basis of product type and application. On the basis of product type, the global market has been segmented into polybutylene adipate terephthalate, polybutylene succinate, polybutylene succinate adipate, polycaprolactone, polyglycolic acid, polyhydroxyalkanoates, polylactic acid and starch-based polymers. On the basis of application, the global market has been segmented into medical, packaging, agriculture and others. In medical application, biodegradable polymers are used in drugs deliver system, surgical sutures and adhesive prevention. Additionally, biodegradable polymers are used in agriculture mulches, starch-based packaging and cellulose-based packaging.
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The North American market for biodegradable polymers is expected to grow considerably, during the forecast period, due to increasing awareness about bio-degradable polymers and volatility of crude oil prices. The European market is expected to show firm growth in the global biodegradable polymers market, during the forecast period. The regional market growth is being driven by stringent environmental rules and regulations. The legislation rules include packaging waste directive with recovery and recycling targets, plastic bag bans in Europe and collection and waste disposal laws that aim to avoid landfill. Additionally, growing consumer awareness about sustainable plastic solutions and government interest in reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel independence are contributing to the European biodegradable polymers market growth.
Some of the key players in the global biodegradable polymers market are Cereplast, BASF SE, Mitsui Chemicals Inc, BIOTEC GmbH& Co., Metabolix Inc., FP International and Lactel Absorbable Polymers.
Global Biodegradable Polymers Market Segmentation
By Product Type
- Polybutylene adipate terephthalate
- Polybutylene succinate
- Polybutylene succinate adipate
- Polyglycolic acid
- Polylactic acid
- Starch-based polymers
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