Technological watch

Need for Sustainable Packaging Solutions Boost Polylactic Acid Market Size: M&M

The Polylactic Acid (PLA) market is projected to grow from USD 1.0 billion in 2021 to USD 1.9 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2021 and 2026.
PLA is a linear, aliphatic polyester synthesized from lactic acid monomers. It is biodegradable and has characteristics similar to polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), or polystyrene (PS). It is compostable and the most used type of biodegradable plastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca roots, chips, starch, or sugarcane.
These renewable raw materials make PLA non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Plastic products may take up to a thousand years to degrade, while PLA products biodegrade within three-to-six months in an industrial composting system. It is largely used in the packaging industry because it does not have a negative impact on food prices or its supply. Government policies on use of conventional plastics and growing awareness for environmental safety drives the PLA market globally.
Key Segments with Highest Growth Rate
Packaging is the largest end-use industry for PLA, with a high CAGR of 13.0% during the forecast period. The need for sustainable solutions has encompassed several industry verticals, including food & beverages, e-commerce, and FMCG. The unique properties of packaging enable its use in various food and non-food applications such as cigarettes, biscuits, sugar confectioneries, baked goods, noodles, and other snacks. The rise in e-commerce has also increased packaging requirements.
Thermoforming grade has enormous growth potential in various packaging applications such as food, beverages, and other consumer products. Thermoformed parts made of PLA have excellent clarity, comparable to those formed in oriented polystyrene (OPS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This, combined with the temperature requirements for product storage, make thermoformed PLA suitable for food packaging trays for baked goods, fruits, and vegetables.
The packaging industry is the largest end-use industry of PLA in Europe. The political and economic conditions have also driven the market penetration of PLA. The EU Commission has focused on the Lead Markets Initiative, where PLA has been identified as one of the most important potential markets. The strict government norms and economic conditions have also driven the PLA market. These factors have been responsible for the development of PLA with collaborative research in the region.
Explore Polylactic Acid Range in Our Database

Source: MarketsandMarkets

Publication date: 25/02/2022

Omnexus (news)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.