As the disposal of packaging in applications such as food has had an adverse impact on the environment, it has opened up numerous opportunities for retailers and packaging manufacturers in bioplastics. Most traditional packaging materials are oil based and therefore, are difficult to sort and recycle efficiently a. Consumers are increasingly seeking bio-friendly options to conventional plastics to safeguard their environment and sources of renewable energy.
Governments could offer tax exemptions and other subsidies to encourage the production of bio-based, environment-friendly products from renewable resources to conserve non-renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.
Market participants can tap the sizeable market potential once they address bioplastics' drawbacks of low material performance and prohibitive pricing caused by the high costs of production and processing. The cost issue can be effectively resolved by increasing the production capacity of key industry participants.
"A focus on increasing production capacities and their effective utilization will help close the price disparity between biopolymers and conventional plastics," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sujatha Vijayan. "This will enable the market to grow and replace plastics in several applications."
While increasing consumer awareness is opening up more avenues for growth, the market's success also depends on emerging technologies that can improve the quality and properties of the material used. For instance, in food packaging, technical developments in barrier properties will make considerable improvements to the material that is currently in use.
Meanwhile, retailers are pressuring bioplastics manufacturers to use active packaging to remove odours. Smart technology is likely to find traction in this application, as it can actually monitor the quality of the food through freshness, temperature or quality indicators built into the package.
"Companies are innovating various technologies to improve the properties of existing biopolymer and their inventions are expected to change the way plastics is used in packaging applications," notes the analyst.
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Source: Frost & Sullivan