According to the Market Statsville Group (MSG), the global biodegradable plastic bags market size is expected to grow from USD 2,299.7 million in 2021 to USD 4,122.4 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2022 to 2030. Biodegradable plastics can decompose by living organisms, usually microbes & bacteria. It is made using various materials, oil-based and plant-based, among others.
The biodegradable plastic bags market's growth is attributed to the huge expansion of the packaging industry and the rising usage of environment-friendly bags. As a result, the number of biodegradable bags is increasing. Furthermore, increased consumer awareness regarding the availability of such an alternative drives the market’s growth. Other growth-inducing elements include banning single-use plastic bags and encouraging the newest biodegradable technology. The government is also providing subsidies to incentivize producers and retailers to promote the usage of biodegradable bags.
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COVID-19 Impact on the Global Biodegradable Plastic Bags Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the global economy, shutting manufacturing units and negatively affecting biodegradable plastic bags. On the contrary, plastic production was at an all-time high as most medical items like gloves, masks, and sanitizer bottles were being produced. Thus, the biodegradable segment faced a major setback in the initial lockdown. COVID-19 has had a complex and mixed impact on biodegradable plastic bags.
As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected this segment and increased plastic production.
Global Biodegradable Plastic Bags Market Dynamics
Drivers: Increased demand for Biodegradable Plastic Bags
Plastic bags – the consumption and production of plastic bags have faced criticism all these years. Environmentalists and scientists are constantly trying to devise methods to eliminate plastic. However, with the lower production and sales cost of plastic, businesses have hesitated to opt for alternative options such as biodegradable bags.
The idea of paper bags did prevail, but due to their lack of durability, it is restricted to particular segments only. On the other hand, biodegradable plastic bags solved the durability problem and started to gain popularity. Many companies started to promote the growth of such environment-friendly products as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and general awareness of the demand for biodegradable bags started to increase.
With many countries banning plastic bags and consumers being more conscious and using sustainable products, biodegradable bags have an edge, and this rise in demand will drive the growth of such environment-friendly bags.
Restraints: Dominant Position of Plastic in this segment
According to European Bioplastics, the global production capacities of bioplastics are predicted to grow from 2.11 million tonnes in 2018 to approximately 2.62 million tonnes by 2023. On the contrary overall global production of plastics in 2017 was 335 million tonnes and increasing since then. Due to the low-cost manufacturing, producers are reluctant towards this change. This shows how dominant plastic bags have been, and it’ll be difficult to replace them suddenly.
According to Greenpeace East Asia, biodegradable material does break down, however, it takes time. Until then, they are harmful to animals who unknowingly swallow them, much like plastic bags. Compostable bags are encouraged as they are plant-based and eventually decompose faster than bioplastics.
A startup, EnviGreen, is making biodegradable bags using natural starch and vegetable oil dissolved in boiling water. However, the main barrier to the growth of this concept of biodegradable plastics is anticipated to be the significant investments required for producing biodegradable plastic due to the use of expensive processing equipment.
Scientists claim that though biodegradable material decomposes, it takes a long time. Until then, they are similar to plastic bags and deadly for animals who unknowingly consume them. Not all biodegradable plastics are compostable! Compostable, biodegradable bags are plant-based. They decompose faster than other biodegradable materials. Hence their growth is encouraged, which will take time.
Opportunities: Countries are providing subsidies to spread awareness regarding Biodegradable bags
In order to eliminate plastic, the most populous country China has banned the usage and production of single-use plastic bags. China’s mega dump is already full; hence they aim to get rid of plastic by 2025. Hotels are instructed to charge for plastic bags, and restaurants to reduce the use of single-use plastic to 30%. During the 2020 legislative session, the U.S. government passed a ban on single-use plastic bags in every state in an effort to minimize plastic pollution. This ban will help in reducing contamination and promote compost and recycling systems. Lastly, the Indian Government stated that the manufacturer will use less virgin or recycled plastic of fewer than seventy-five microns (75 µ i.e., 0.075 mm in thickness) for their manufacturing, importing, stocking, and other operational activities from September 2021.
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Scope of the Global Biodegradable Plastic Bags Market
The study categorizes the biodegradable plastic bags market based on type, distribution channel, and end-user at the regional and global levels.
By Types Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017-2030)
- Hydro Biodegradable Plastic (HBP)
- Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic (OBP)
By Distribution Channels Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017-2030)
- Convenience Stores
By End-User Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017-2030)
- Commercial Use
- Retail Industry
- Personal Use
By Region Outlook (Sales, USD Billion, 2017-2030)
- North America
- The Netherlands
- Czech Republic
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Australia & New Zealand
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- South America
- Rest of South America
- The Middle East & Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Northern Africa
- Rest of MEA
Retail segment accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period by the end user segment
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Based on the end user, the market is segmented into commercial, retail, and personal. During the forecast period, the retail segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR.
Consumers tend to trust the product once they use it themselves. The retail segment can potentially give customers the experience of biodegradable bags. From hypermarkets to streetside vendors, the bags can be promoted everywhere. Many countries subsidize the retailers who install recycling bins for such biodegradable bags. As a part of their CSR, companies in the retail industry encourage the use of biodegradable bags as well. Some use the pricing strategy wherein they charge more for plastic bags and give biodegradable or paper bags for free or at a nominal price.
Asia Pacific is projected to account for the largest market share, by Region
Based on the regions, the global biodegradable plastic bags market has been segmented across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific will dominate the global biodegradable plastic bags market in the coming years. The most populous countries (China & India) generated the maximum plastic waste in the past, owing to corrective measures. They are spreading awareness about sustainable products like biodegradable bags by providing subsidies to those promoting the same usage. Consumers are also becoming more aware of such products, increasing demand.
North American and European markets are also flourishing because of the ban on single-use plastic products.
Key Market Players in the Global Biodegradable Plastic Bags Market
The global biodegradable plastic bags market is highly competitive, with key industry players adopting strategies such as product development, partnerships, acquisitions, agreements, and expansion to strengthen their market positions. Most market companies focus on expanding operations across regions, augmenting their capabilities, and building strong partner relations.
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Key players in the global biodegradable plastic bags market are: