Summary of our market study

French bioplastics market valued at over €800 million

The global bioplastics market is experiencing significant growth, driven by increased demand for environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional plastics. Bioplastics accounted for around 1% of total plastics production, and demand is set to continue rising, partly due to regulatory pressure to reduce single-use plastics.

Europe is a key player in bioplastics production, with a quarter of global capacity, and Asia continues to lead production, with 45% of bioplastics manufactured.

Regulatory changes are encouraging the development of bioplastics by banning certain plastic products and imposing higher contents of plant-based materials, but difficulties persist regarding the biodegradability and recyclability of these new materials.

Recycling bioplastics and the mixture of materials that cannot be processed by traditional systems remains highly complex.

Trends in demand for bioplastics on the French market

The French market is expanding. Packaging remains the dominant sector, accounting for over half of all bioplastics used.

Demand is driven by a heightened awareness of environmental issues and the search for more renewable, environmentally-friendly materials.

France accounts for around 3% to 4% of the global plastics industry's sales.

The French market has significant growth potential, and is valued at over €800 million.

Bioplastics offer solutions in a variety of applications, where they are now present in everything from automotive components to everyday items such as plastic bags. One of the driving forces behind this evolution is the packaging sector, where bioplastics have carved out a substantial share of the flexible and rigid packaging market, accounting for more than half of global bioplastics consumption. Increasing scrutiny of plastic packaging has led to greater interest in paper and other biodegradable materials, with significant growth in drinking water bottles, soft drink packaging and shopping bags made from bioplastics. This development illustrates a broader trend in consumer preferences, where the market is gradually shifting towards sustainable packaging solutions, fuelling demand for biobased materials. Interestingly, the cost factor represents a considerable challenge, with bioplastics tending to be significantly more expensive - around two to three times - than their traditional plastic equivalents.

This extra cost is linked to the more expensive recycling processes and alternative raw materials used in bioplastics production. Nevertheless, this has not dampened enthusiasm for these materials, suggesting that environmental considerations are beginning to outweigh purely economic reasoning in the French market. French regulations have adapted dynamically to promote environmentally-friendly practices, phase out single-use plastics and support the rise of bioplastics. Progressive policies that ban certain plastic items and encourage the use of compostable or biosourced materials reflect a legislative approach determined to foster a greener future and thus fuel market demand for these products.

In short, although the French bioplastics market lags behind traditional plastics in terms of volume, it is gaining ground at a remarkable rate.

Bioplastics industry players

  • Total and Corbion: Total has teamed up with Corbion, a world market leader in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives and lactides, based in the Netherlands, to drive the industry forward with products based on polylactic acid (PLA) derived from renewable sugarcane resources.
  • Braskem: originating from Brazil, Braskem presents itself as a petrochemical powerhouse that has gone green thanks to its biosourced production.
  • Novamont: Italian innovator and a key player in the bioplastics industry, Novamont has made a name for itself with its wide range of biodegradable and compostable thermoplastic materials.
  • Akro-Plastic: With its dual expertise in traditional plastics and bioplastics, Akro-Plastic embodies the transformation path taken by many large-scale manufacturers.
  • Vegeplast: A medium-sized specialist company based in France, Vegeplast exemplifies the innovative spirit of niche players.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Presentation and definition

Bioplastics are a very broad category of plastics with special characteristics. A bioplastic is either biosourced that is to say, using manufacturing materials from biomass (sweet potato, sugar cane, etc.), or biodegradable i.e its decomposition reaches 90% after being in contact for six months with micro-organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi), oxygen, moisture or heat. Bioplastics may be both biosourced and biodegradable.

It is possible to use bioplastics at the same time during manufacturing :

  • Disposable plastic objects
  • Non-disposable plastic objects

The applications are numerous since bioplastics are present in many everyday objects (car parts, plastic bags...). The bioplastics market is currently in strong global growth This is encouraged by the desire of manufacturers to find solutions that are more renewable than traditional plastics and more environmentally friendly.

The French market is also booming with regulations concerning plastics that continue to evolve and should support the growth of the sector. The many applications and innovations in bioplastics should also contribute to sustainable growth in the sector for the coming years.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Évolution de la capacité de production mondiale de bioplastiques
  • Répartition de la production de bioplastique par types de matériaux
  • Capacité de production mondiale de bioplastique
  • Évolution du chiffre d'affaires de la plasturgie
  • Répartition de la consommation de plastique par secteur
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Latest news

BASF: the Ludwigshafen giant sinks into crisis - 22/01/2024
  • BASF profits: 45% fall between 2022 and 2023.
  • BASF earnings before interest and taxes in 2023: 3.8 billion euros.
  • BASF sales in 2023: €68.9 billion, a decline of 20%.
  • Proposed transaction: sale of Wintershall Dea to Harbour Energy for approximately $2.15 billion.
A new BASF boss to tackle a number of mammoth projects - 21/12/2023
  • BASF employs around 111,000 people
  • BASF is currently cutting 2,600 jobs
  • BASF has sales of €87.3 billion, but profits have fallen by 40%.
  • BASF has embarked on a far-reaching restructuring program that extends to its three main business sectors: crop protection, battery materials and coatings.
  • Construction of a new €10 billion site in China.
  • BASF generates 45% of its sales in Europe.
Historic turn at German giant BASF | BASF pivots towards the future - 08/12/2023
  • BASF is the world's largest chemical company, with 111,000 employees.
  • The group generated sales of 87.3 billion euros.
  • BASF makes three main activities commercially independent: crop protection, battery materials and coatings.
  • 230 production sites worldwide.
  • The world's largest chemical complex, with around 40,000 employees, is located in Ludwigshafen in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Companies quoted in this study

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Plastivaloire Groupe
Craemer France

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