The polylactic acid market is estimated to foresee a significant growth with a CAGR of 16.21%, expected to grow from a market size of US$1.292 billion in 2019 to reach a market size of US$3.182 billion in 2025. Rising demand for environmental-friendly solutions is one of the major drivers driving the growth of the global polylactic acid market. Polylactic acid is among the most consumed bioplastics in the world, hence, this is further fueling the market growth due to high market demand in the forecast period. Technological advancements in development of polylactic acid will continue to bolster the market growth. Polylactic acid find applications in the packaging industry, agriculture, healthcare industry in the form of medical implants which are biocompatible within the human body. Furthermore, the growing automotive production resulting in increasing car sales is further burgeoning the market demand. The polymer is used in car interiors, thus, contributing in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The use of polylactic acid as a cosmetic ingredient is further bolstering the market demand in cosmetic production in the forecast period. Polylactic acid is use as raw materials in 3D printing. The growing global 3D printing industry is providing an opportunity for the market to thrive in the forecast period and in the upcoming years.
The growing global bioplastics production is providing an impetus for the market to grow in the forecast period.
Bioplastics comprise around 1% share of over 300 million tonnes of plastics produced per year at the global level. Significant growth in demand is being observed with more sophisticated applications and products coming up with time. The bioplastics market is growing constantly, fueling the growth of the global polylactic acid market in the forecast period. The global production is poised to grow from 2.11 million tonnes (approximately) in 2019 to around 2.43 million tonnes by the end of 2024 (source: European Bioplastics e.V.).
Bioplastics are utilized for a variety of applications which include packaging and consumer products, electronics, automotive, and textiles. Out of these, packaging holds the major market share in the global bioplastics industry. According to the European Bioplastics estimates, the land use for growing renewable feedstock for producing bioplastics accounts for 0.79 million hectares in 2019, accounting to hold a share of 0.016% in the global agricultural area of 4.8 billion hectares. However, the land use share will increase to 0.021% only by 2024.
Currently, there is an alternative for almost every traditional non-biodegradable plastic material and its corresponding application. Bioplastics such as polylactic acid have similar properties as that of the traditional plastics but offer added benefits including reduced carbon emissions and additional waste management choices. The market, at present, is a dynamic one and has strong diversification. Applications of bioplastics range from beverage bottles in packaging to the manufacture of keyboards in consumer electronics, and interiors of the motorized vehicle. The factors driving market growth include a high rate of consumer acceptance. Furthermore, with rising concerns on climate change, price rise of fossil materials, and growing dependence on fossil resources is further burgeoning the bioplastics production, fueling the market growth in the forecast period. Based on the analysis, bioplastics are referred to as efficient and regarded as technologically mature materials. This is mainly due to the reason that these are capable of improving the balance between environmental benefits and the impact of plastics on the environment. Countries in Europe are focused on the development of bioplastics. Also, the European region strongly favors the growth of bioplastics production due to the favourable conditions for the market to prosper in the forecast period. This includes a well-developed European economy and a highly educated society where consumers have strong purchasing power coupled with a high degree of environmental awareness. The industrial users here promote sustainable development, also, the selected legislative and regulatory frameworks are involved in the active promotion of sustainable development and aligned innovations. The presence of the leading global companies in the chemical and plastics industry is further bolstering the market growth in this region. Furthermore, with big brands turning into bioplastics solutions is further encouraging market penetration. Brands like Procter & Gamble, Danone, Puma, Samsung, IKEA, Tetra Pak, Heinz, and Toyota have already introduced their first products in large-scale in the European region. The advent of different bioplastic materials with new products launched by the above-mentioned big brands is poised to raise the level of awareness and information. Also, the quality of materials will gain huge acceptance with becoming noticeable. With the growing volumes of bioplastics, the high production costs will soon adapt to prices paid for traditional polymer materials.
The growing 3D printing industry is propelling the market demand in the forecast period.
With huge investments being made by the key industry players in the global 3D printing industry, the market is expected to fuel in the forecast period. Significant investments made in the research and development are giving rise to advancements in technology, hence fueling the market growth as well. With technologies becoming advanced, more novel and innovative products are entering the market. Polylactic acid is considered as one of the most common materials used for desktop 3D printing. It is the default element of preference used extensively in extrusion-based 3D printers. Also, the polymer material is useful at the time of learning about 3D printing. This is because of the fact that it provides convenience while printing and creates parts to be utilized in many applications, hence versatile. Additionally, the polymer is renewable and allows the plastic to release a sweet aroma at the time of 3D printing. One of the remarkable innovations of 3D printing includes its immense potential in producing scaffolds for biomedical applications. Hence, with the growing research on tissue engineering, the market holds favourable growth prospects in the upcoming years. This is because of the fact that in tissue engineering there is a requirement of scaffolds for tissue regeneration, providing a suitable platform for cell growth. This is dependent on the selection of materials and geometrical features which include internal structures and pore size distribution.