Polylactic acid (PLA) is thermoplastic aliphatic polymer having chemical formula (C3H4O2) n. The Polylactic Acid is a semi-crystalline, biodegradable hydrophobic polymer with good mechanical strengths.
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Most importantly Polylactic acid is compostable i.e. it can be broke down under some conditions into the biodegradable components which makes it a preferred material for packaging applications across various industry such as food and beverages and consumer products. The major share of industry usable bio plastic is covered by Polylactic acid. The industry preference for Polylactic acid over conventional plastic is because of the increasing demand and prices of petroleum and petroleum based products like synthetic plastics. Bio plastics are synthesised from the organic biomass resources like corn, sugarcane etc. instead of from traditional sources like petroleum.
In terms of volume consumption Polylactic acid accounts for highest consumed bio plastic. Government is taking initiatives, providing subsidies and support for increasing usage of bio degradable products. Pollution control and environment safety are the major reasons why more and more stakeholders are turning towards bio plastic usage rather than conventional plastic synthesised from petroleum. Technological advancement, technological transfer from developed countries and high consumer demand in developing countries are responsible for upcoming new set ups in packaging, textiles and electronics industries. These industries’ demand for Polylactic acid is the key market growth driver in developing countries.
Not all the regions have ample available natural resources for the production of the Polylactic acid. The use of corn for Polylactic acid production would affect its contribution in food industry causing food security problems in the poor countries. The minimum production cost for bio plastics is at least two to three times more than the synthetic plastics. More research in technology and resource management is required for cheaper Polylactic acid production. Though biodegradable, PLA requires specified composting system for the complete degradation.
The global Polylactic Acid market can be segmented based on the end-use industry and region. Based on end use industry Polylactic Acid market can be classified into Packaging industry (Food and Beverages), Agriculture Industry, Textile Industry, Biomedical Industry, Electronics Industry and Other Industry (consumer goods).
Region wise Polylactic Acid market can be segmented into Regional analysis includes North America (U.S., Canada), Latin America (Mexico. Brazil),Western Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain, Nordic countries, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg),Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia),Asia Pacific (China, India, ASEAN, Australia & New Zealand),Japan ,Middle East and Africa (GCC, S. Africa, N. Africa).
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Pollution control measures and preference for environmental friendly product are driving the demand for biodegradable products like Polylactic acid. In the developing countries like India and China technological advancement and high consumer demand are essential factors for new upcoming huge set ups for packaging industry, textile industry and electronics industry. The demand for Polylactic acid in Asia pacific region is thus expected to grow at double digit CAGR. In European countries, due to strict government norms and regulations industries are inclined towards using bio plastic rather than conventional plastic synthesized from petroleum. In terms of production, North America leads over other regions due to availability of raw materials. The demand for Polylactic acid in this region is expected to grow due to availability of government subsidiaries for environmental friendly product and technical expertise. The global demand for Polylactic acid market will show remarkable growth in the forecast period.
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