Global Polylactic Acid Industry Analysis: Packaging Segment Dominates the Largest Market Share

Jan 09 , 2024

Global Polylactic Acid Industry Market Overview

According to BezeConsulting, the global market size for the Polylactic Acid (PLA) industry was $2.159 billion in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.85% projected for the period 2023-2028.

Polylactic Acid, derived from renewable resources, is a thermoplastic aliphatic polyester. Raw materials for PLA include corn starch (mainly in the United States), cassava roots, potato chips, or starch (mainly in Asia), or sugarcane (in other regions of the world). It has become a popular material known for its favorable mechanical and processing properties, and PLA products can rapidly degrade through various methods after disposal.

Packaging Segment Holds the Largest Market Share

Similar to other sustainable bioplastics, PLA has enormous market potential, particularly in the packaging segment. It is widely used in various packaging applications for food (e.g., disposable boxes), beverages (e.g., straws, milk tea cups), and other short-shelf-life consumer goods. Additionally, due to its versatility, PLA finds applications in diverse fields, including textiles, construction, and automotive. Consequently, governments worldwide are encouraging the production and consumption of sustainable materials. In terms of applications, the packaging segment dominated the market share in 2022.

Analysis of Industry Drivers and Barriers

Polylactic Acid (PLA) is a novel biodegradable material produced from starch found in renewable plant resources such as corn. It exhibits excellent biodegradability, fully decomposing into carbon dioxide and water by natural microorganisms after use, thereby avoiding environmental pollution. Recognized as an environmentally friendly material, enhanced consumer awareness in recyclability, green packaging, and sustainability may drive future consumption of PLA in the coming years. However, the price of PLA is approximately 3-4 times that of polyethylene, and its cost is determined by both its price and the polymerization process, making PLA comparatively expensive.

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