Bioplastics Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020
Domestic Bioplastics Market Finally Coming toward Full-Fledged Growth
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the domestic bioplastics market and found out the market trends and future outlook.
The bioplastics market size in 2019 rose by 14.2% from the previous year to have achieved 59,865 tons, based on the domestic shipment volume, a remarkable growth for the first time since 2013 when the market increased by 25.9%.
The market has been reinvigorated since 2018, though in fact, the record-breaking, horrendous heat in 2018 expanded soft drink consumption, which increased the demand for bio PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and proportionately boosted the entire market. Therefore, there was no difference in stagnant new adoptions at that time.
In 2019, however, while the issue of marine plastics pollution drew consumers’ attention, the awareness of environmental issues improved at companies against a backdrop of the governmental measures. The market finally came toward full-scale growth, as the opportunity was ripe for the market to introduce new materials, and as the trend chiefly in Europe to use bio plastics for disposable containers and bags since several years ago at last spread in Japan.
Rapid Increase of Bio PE Adoption
It can be said that it was bio PE (polyethylene) that played the main role for invigorating the bio plastics market in 2019. The market had been stagnant from 2015 to 2018, after adoptions at major brand owners saturated. The market has regained power just like at the time when it was launched.
The foremost reason was formulation of the "Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics" in 2019, in which a policy was designated to restrict using plastic shopping bags as a first step of reducing disposable plastics. This triggered supermarkets, general merchandisers, and even convenience stores, drugstores, and department stores that used to show reluctant attitude, to start using bio PE as a material for their plastic shopping bags. Furthermore, in December 2019, plastic shopping bags provided by retailers were decided to be charged from July 2020, with the exception of the plastic bags containing 25% or more of bio plastics, which spurred the adoption of bio PE.
With expanded demand further accelerated, the domestic bioplastics market size in 2020 based on the shipment volume is projected to attain 72,185 tons, up by 20.6% from the previous year. Although adoption at some brand owners has been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic, the momentum overwhelms such a concern.
As the domestic bioplastics market is expected to continue further growth after 2020, it may experience unprecedented development curve depending on the laws and regulations enforced hereafter. It is newsworthy to focus on when and what regulations, following those for plastic shopping bags, will be enforced.
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