No.2006
10/18/2018

Bioplastics Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2018

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the domestic bioplastics market and has found out the market trends and future outlook.


Figure: Transition of Domestic Bioplastics Market Size
Figure: Transition of Domestic Bioplastics Market Size

Market Overview

Size of the bioplastics market in 2017 grew by 1.9% from the previous year to achieve 47,780 tons, based on the domestic shipment volume.  Emerge of Bio PET and Bio PE had driven the market to invigorate in 2010 and later.  However, in around 2015 when new adoption of those bioplastics at large companies had almost finished, the bioplastics market started slowing down to make it almost flat from 2015 to 2017. The largest factor for such market slowdown is decelerated momentum of Bio PET and Bio PE. For the past two years, the market of Bio PET has decreased slightly, and that of Bio PE has hardly grown from the preceding year.
On the other hand, polylactic acid which used to face sluggish shipment has turned for the better to increase.  This has enabled the entire bioplastics market to barely manage to maintain the growth, by 0.2% on year-to-year basis in 2016, and by 1.9% in 2017.

Noteworthy Topics

In June 2018, the Cabinet has approved of the Fourth Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society.  This becomes the basis of the “Plastic Circulation Strategy” to be hammered out in time for the Group 20 summit meeting hosted by Japan at the end of June 2019.  In the strategy, bioplastics are expected to improve their practical use and to be promoted as the replacement of plastics derived from fossil fuels.  Therefore, the laws and regulations to encourage using of bioplastics are projected to be enforced, or if public procurement is admitted, the market environment is likely to change dramatically.

In addition, marine pollution caused by disposable plastics, a.k.a. the microplastics problem, has been in the spotlight as an international environmental problem since the beginning of 2018, triggering countries all over the world to enhance the regulations against disposable plastics.  In such a status, degradable plastics that can be decomposed by the action of living organisms even in the sea have begun being commoditized.  This has gained prominence as a new business opportunity in the industry.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: From April to September, 2018
2.Research Object: Bioplastics material makers, other related makers, and end-user companies
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by the expert researchers, surveys via telephone, and mail-in questionnaire

What is the bioplastics market?

Bioplastics is a collective term of “biodegradable plastics” that can eventually decompose itself into water and carbon dioxide, and “biomass plastics” that is derived from renewable organic resources including plants. The bioplastics market in this research indicates the market targeting the above-mentioned environment-conscious plastics.  Imported plastic bags made of Bio PE are included in the market size.

Published Report

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