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The global plastic additives market size was USD 48.41 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 51.04 billion in 2021 to USD 75.20 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.7% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 4.9% in 2020. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Plastic additives are chemicals that are used to modify, process, or polymerize the end-use properties of polymers. These are added in polymers to improve the durability, heat sensitivity, and strength of these products. They are widely used as various function types, including stabilizers, processing aids, modifiers, flame retardants, and plasticizers in various industrial applications. Strict regulations implemented by the European Commission to control and regulate flame retardants, and other additives on account of their adverse effects on the environment and human health will augment the global market size.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Strict Rules Imposed by Governments to Affect the Supply and Manufacturing Processes of Raw Materials & Products
The chemical industry is one of the mainstays for industrial development in any region. polymer is one of the major components of the chemicals sector. COVID-19 has majorly disrupted the global market. Various government restrictions have affected the manufacturing and supply of commodities, raw materials, and products. Most of the chemical manufacturers based in China have been forced to shut down due to the outbreak temporarily. China is the key market for these additives and their raw materials and is anticipated to affect the global market substantially. The supply of raw materials has been disrupted during the lockdown period, which has affected the manufacturing of these additives and derivatives. Additionally, the unavailability of labor is also affecting the market during the outbreak.
On the flip side, the increase in the demand for PPE kits manufactured from medical grade plastic to combat the spread of the COVID-19 infection is anticipated to serve as an opportunity for the market to regain its previous momentum. Governments and public bodies are expected to acknowledge, define, and resolve the potential challenges that economies are going to face after this tough time.
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Rising Awareness about Plastic Pollution to Drive Upcoming Market Trends
Accumulation of plastic waste due to its non-degradability is one of the major issues the world has been facing for the last few decades. polymers are widely used for various purposes, ranging from domestic to industrial applications. The rising concerns and awareness regarding its pollution and its accumulation in soils and water bodies have led to the invention of biodegradable materials. The stringent rules imposed by governmental authorities to reduce the usage of non-degradable plastic have significantly driven the biodegradable market. Countries such as Canada and India have vowed to eliminate single-use products by 2022. This is driving the demand for the product that is responsible for biodegradability.
Manufacturers are inclined towards manufacturing additives for biodegradable polymers. For instance, in December 2019, Evonik shifted its focus towards developing solutions for recycling plastic and rubber. Vestoplast, one of the additives made by Evonik, is anticipated to be the prime product for the recycling, which involves the breaking down into its component monomers. Another example is Biotec Environmental, which has a strong product portfolio of these products and additives. EcoPure is an organic additive employed to enhance the biodegradability quotient of traditional polymer products.
Recently, companies have been focusing on developing new and enhanced products for increasing the functionality and biodegradability of the product. The invention of additives that can significantly reduce the degradation time of of this product will prove to be a revolutionary achievement. The increasing use of pro-oxidant additives by the industrial sector to boost thermo-oxidation and photo-oxidation that proportionally increases the number of extractable compounds is one of the key trends supporting the plastic additives market growth.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing interest in R&D to support the use of sanitized additives with antiviral properties for polymers. For instance, Sanitized AG, a Switzerland-based antimicrobials producing company, reports that several of its product offerings are effective against the virus on non-porous surfaces. The efficacy of these products was confirmed by the tests carried out by independent laboratories in accordance with ISO 21702:2019. These additives are claimed to be effective for polymers employed in healthcare, food & beverages, transportation, and other essential applications.
Increasing Adoption of Plastics by Various End-Use Industries to Drive Growth
Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in several end-use industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, packaging, chemical, construction, general manufacturing, and electronics. The increasing adoption of polymers is attributed to their exceptional properties such as strength, reliability, flexibility, and the ability to withstand pressure and heat, which is driving the demand for their derivatives. This product is cheaper compared to conventional materials such as wood, metals, and composites and is therefore replacing them. This, in turn, is expected to impact the market positively.
Plastic is lightweight in nature and is therefore employed in the automotive sector. When different types of additives are added to these materials, they can serve in other application areas. For instance, flame-retardant additives are employed when it is used in construction, aerospace, and fire-fighting applications. In contrast, phthalate-free additives are used to make medical and food-grade polymers.
The packaging sector has been experiencing rapid developments over the last few decades. The increasing demand for convenience food is increasing the demand for food-grade plastic used for packaging. Additionally, the growing e-commerce sector across the world is one of the prime factors driving the packaging sector, which in turn is boosting market growth. Contributed to its lightweight nature and lower cost, it is also employed in manufacturing automotive parts. Lighter automotive parts reduce fuel consumption, which in turn increases the efficiency of the vehicle. Different standards set by regulatory authorities regarding the grades of automotive plastics have significantly increased the demand for flame retardant additives. The replacement of conventional materials with polymers in most of the end-use industries has substantially increased the demand for this additives.
Toxicity and Environmental Effects of Phthalates May Hinder the Market
Phthalates are one of the most commonly used plasticizers that increase material’s transparency, flexibility, and durability. As a result of their lower cost, they are predominantly used to soften PVC and as additives. However, there are several possible adverse health and environmental effects associated with phthalates. For example, they get released into the environment during polymer production and are not biodegradable. They are also potential endocrine disruptors that can even cause male infertility. Moreover, high levels of phthalates in the air can deposit the substance in the body due to their high volatility. Such harmful effects can potentially hamper market growth.
Plasticizers Segment to Dominate the Market Share
On the basis of type, the market is segmented into plasticizers, flame retardants, stabilizers, impact modifiers, and others. The plasticizers segment accounted for a major share in 2020 as they reduce the viscosity of polymer materials and increase the flexibility of the polymers. The plasticity of polymers is altered for different requirements of different application areas. They facilitate the handling of raw materials during the manufacturing process and also alter the frictional coefficient according to the desired application. Most commonly used products are based on esters of polycarboxylic acids with aliphatic or branched alcohols of moderate-length chains. Ester plasticizers are chosen according to the evaluation based on cost and performance, toxicity, non-volatility, processability, and compatibility with the host material. However, around 90% of all plasticizers are used for the production of flexible PVC. The increasing demand for flexible PVC polymer is expected to boost the segment.
Retardants are flame-retarding additives that are added to polymer blends to manufacture fire-safe plastic products. They are widely used in the aerospace and defense sector owing to their excellent mechanical strength, tensile properties, durability, lower cost and weight, and functionality. Flame retardant additives are added to polymer blends to increase performance in high-temperature environments. PPE kits made for the protection of workers are generally made from fire-safe plastic. The increasing demand for PPE kits in the industrial sector is expected to drive the demand for flame retardant additives.
Modifiers are additives that are used to enhance the toughness and durability of resins. Plastic and engineered plastic materials are employed in a number of end-use areas with high-strength requirements. Sectors such as automotive, aerospace and defense, military, and construction need high-performance, impact-bearing materials, where polymer is considered a cost-effective and efficient alternative. Impact modifiers enhance the performance, functionality, tensile properties, flammability, heat distortion, optical properties, and processability of plastics. Impact modifiers such as Methyl Butadiene Styrene (MBS) and acrylic modifiers significantly increase the impact resistance of PVC without altering its other properties. The high demand from end-use sectors for such strong, impact-bearing, and cost-effective additives is expected to drive the impact modifier segment.
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Packaging Segment Accounted for the Major Share in 2020
The market is segmented into packaging, construction, automotive, consumer goods, and others based on end-use. The packaging segment is expected to gain the largest share during the forecast period. Different types of products require different types of materials for packaging. A wide range of plastic materials is available in the market, including transparent, food-grade, medical-grade, opaque, porous, moisture-resistant, heat-resistant, and others. Plastic is one of the most cost-effective alternatives for other packaging materials such as metals and alloys. Moreover, convenience food is experiencing surging demand attributed to the hectic lifestyles in urban areas. The increasing demand for plastic packaging from the food & beverages, medical, pharmaceutical, and other industries is anticipated to drive the market.
The automotive segment is expected to make substantial gains during the forecast period. Plastic has revolutionized the performance, aesthetics, safety, construction, and functionality of automotive parts. Plastic parts are non-corrosive, light in weight, flexible, offers thermal insulation, reduce noise, and allows efficient space utilization. Additionally, the lightweight nature of plastic reduces the vehicle's overall weight, further decreasing fuel consumption and improving the efficiency of the vehicle. Lower consumption of fuel results in the lower emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), which adds to the advantages of plastic over conventional materials. The usage of plastic allows vehicles to comply with strict safety and emission standards and support sustainability.
Consumer goods are generally made of plastic and polymers due to the lower manufacturing costs and high functionality. Furniture, kitchen appliances, electrical appliances, toys, and other daily-use products are manufactured using plastics due to their enhanced flexibility, aesthetic properties, low weight, and other properties. Various plastics in manufacturing consumer goods are polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and others. The rise in disposable incomes has led consumers to spend more on consumer goods. The increasing spending of consumers on home décor, furniture, and home aesthetics is expected to boost the market.
Asia Pacific Plastic Additives Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold a key position in the market share due to many manufacturers in the region. China is one of the largest producers of plastics and polymers, accounting for nearly 30% of global production. The country is a leading producer of cheap and lightweight consumer goods. Currently, plastic is one of the key materials used for packaging, and Asia Pacific is experiencing a boost in the packaging sector. The rapid increase in the e-commerce sector is promoting the growth of the regional packaging industry, which in turn is fueling the regional market growth. Additionally, rising disposable incomes lead consumers to spend considerably on home décor, decorative items, and furniture, which has boosted the furniture market in India and China. The increasing demand for Chinese goods worldwide is expected to surge the local plastic industry.
North America accounts for a significant share in the global market owing to the increasing adoption of plastics and polymers in the packaging, construction, aerospace & defense, food & beverages, general manufacturing, and automobile industries. High investments in the aerospace & defense sector for developing enhanced materials is expected to serve as an opportunity for the market in this region. Additionally, stringent regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the degradability of polymers and plastics have increased R&D spending by players to develop additives that can accelerate the degradability of plastic. This is anticipated to impact regional plastic additive consumption positively.
Europe is a major automotive manufacturing region with highly developed production technologies. The increasing adoption of lightweight parts in making automotive components to increase the efficiency of vehicles is expected to boost the regional market. Increasing R&D for developing non-toxic plastic products is expected to boost the local market. Strict rules imposed by the European Union (EU) regarding the use of phthalates in food and medical applications are expected to act as an opportunity for developing new and enhanced polymer additives. Additionally, rising consumer awareness regarding the emergence of various diseases and viruses has significantly increased the use of medical devices and instruments. The increasing demand for such instruments in the European healthcare sector will potentially fuel market growth.
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Latin America is experiencing considerable growth in the mining industry. Major players manufacturing PPE materials for mining workers primarily use material. Increasing mining activities are encouraging market growth. The increase in the demand for food-grade polymers is surging the demand for phthalate-free plastic additives in the region.
New Product Launches, Collaborations, and Acquisitions are the Top Strategies of Key Players
The global market is competitive with the presence of numerous local and international players. Some of the key players include Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd, Clariant AG, Evonik Industries, Kaneka Corporation, BASF SE, SABIC, and others. Some producers maintain a competitive edge through product development strategies, optimization of production processes, and technological innovations. Several companies have been making breakthrough applications across major growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, automotive, consumer goods, and others, where companies are responding to the demand for increased sustainability.
An Infographic Representation of Plastic Additives Market
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The global plastic additives market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects, such as leading companies, product types, and leading end-use of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the current market growth trends and forecasts, competitive landscape and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Ton)
By Type, By End-Use, and By Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market worth was USD 48.41 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 75.20 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the market size stood at USD 48.41 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 5.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The packaging segment is expected to be the leading material.
Rising demand from the automotive industry is one of the major drivers of the market.
Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd, Clariant AG, Evonik Industries, Kaneka Corporation, BASF SE, SABIC are the top players in the market.
Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2020.
The increasing demand for convenience food, which is raising the demand for food-grade polymers used for packaging, shall drive the adoption of these material too.
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