SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The global market for bio-based polyolefins is expected to increase more than 20 times over the next decade, reaching a global volume of more than 4.7 million tons in 2032, according to a groundbreaking report published by MLT Analytics entitled Global Bio-Based Polyolefins Report — 2023 Edition: Market Penetration for a Sustainable Industrial Future. This impressive growth is expected to be fueled by a variety of end-use applications, including common bio-polyethylene applications such as LDPE extrusion coating, HDPE shopping bags and HDPE blow molded containers, as well as emerging bio-polypropylene applications such as hygiene, household goods and rigid and flexible packaging, bio-EVA applications such as footwear and bio-LLDPE products such as stretch film.
“2022 has been a breakthrough year for bio-polyolefins in that we have seen a notable diversification of the supplier base, with emerging suppliers developing and increasing their commercial presence in the market, and adding to the dominant producer presence Braskem history,” MLT Analytics said. CEO and co-founder Stephen Moore. “We have also seen the bio-PP market more than triple between 2021 and 2022 with the start of mass balance based polymer production in Europe and Japan,” he added.
Most global polyolefin suppliers have announced sustainable polyolefin targets, typically to be achieved by 2030, which involve a mixed list of plastics derived from biomass, mechanically or chemically recycled feedstocks; while mechanical and chemical recycling routes may be preferred by many polyolefin producers, the preferences of brand owners and consumers should ensure that bio-based polyolefins play a significant role in achieving sustainability goals.
The European Commission’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) in its current form is a potential complicating factor for the growth of the bio-polyolefins market according to Moore of MLT Analytics. “The Commission essentially signaled its preference for C14 assay versus mass balance as the preferred way to measure bio content, and added that bio-based plastics should target sustainable applications such as pipes and automotive, thus functioning as carbon sinks. I don’t think this position is acceptable to bio-polyolefin suppliers given their investment in the mass balance approach,” Moore added.
On the biopolyolefins supply side, the main incumbent supplier, Braskem, is joined by a stable of European, Japanese and Korean suppliers, with Dow Chemical also strengthening its presence via production assets in Europe. “Bio-polyolefins are major components of Korean and Japanese suppliers’ sustainability strategies, and they will have easy access to export-oriented markets in Asia-Pacific,” Moore said. “In fact, by 2032, we expect the Asia-Pacific region to overtake Europe in the consumption of bio-polyolefins.”
Suppliers of bio-polyolefins also need to ensure that they can obtain enough bio-raw materials to polymerize their products for the market according to Moore. “Most bio-refineries focus on biofuel production, with bio-naphtha being a lower priority by-product,” Moore noted.
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About MLT Analytics
MLT Analytics was established in June 2021 in Singapore by plastics industry market research veteran, Stephen Moore, and partners with the same intention of applying artificial intelligence (AI), including technology to machine learning (ML), complemented by deep practical industry knowledge, to develop rational and robust and reliable forecasts. The company believes that strong domain expertise lies primarily in the successful application of AI and ML. Consequently, its team includes industry experts with decades of combined expertise in industries such as basic, specialty and engineering plastics and elastomers, feedstocks and petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and additives. Expertise extends to processing, conversion and production equipment and plants, as well as downstream and end-user industries such as automotive, hygiene, food and beverage and packaging .