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The global plastic additives market size was USD 46.59 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 74.61 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period.
Plastic additives are chemicals that are used to modify, process, or polymerize the end-use properties of any plastic. These are added in polymers to improve the durability, heat sensitivity, and strength of plastic 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, plasticizers, 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. Plastic is one of the major components of the chemicals sector. COVID-19 has majorly disrupted the global market. Various restrictions imposed by governments have affected the manufacturing and supply of commodities, raw materials, and products. Most of the chemical manufacturers based in China have been forced to temporarily shut down due to the outbreak. China is the key market for plastic additives and its raw materials and is anticipated to substantially affect the global market. The supply of raw materials has been disrupted during the lockdown period, which has affected the manufacturing of plastic 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. Plastic is widely used for various purposes, ranging from domestic to industrial applications. The rising concerns and awareness regarding plastic pollution and its accumulation in soils and water bodies have led to the invention of biodegradable plastic materials. The stringent rules imposed by governmental authorities to reduce the usage of non-degradable plastic have significantly driven the demand for biodegradable plastics. Countries such as Canada and India have vowed to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022. This is driving the demand for plastic additives that are responsible for plastic 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 of plastic, which involves the breaking down of plastic into its component monomers. Another example is Biotec Environmental, which has a strong product portfolio of plastic products and additives. EcoPure is an organic additive employed to enhance the biodegradability quotient of traditional plastic products.
Recently, companies have been focusing on developing new and enhanced products for increasing the functionality and biodegradability of plastics. The invention of additives that can significantly reduce the degradation time of the plastic will prove to be a revolutionary achievement. The increasing use of pro-oxidant additives by the industrial sector to boost the rate of 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 plastics 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 basic 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 sectors including automotive, aerospace and defense, packaging, chemical, construction, general manufacturing, and electronics. The increasing adoption of plastics 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. Plastic is cheaper compared to conventional materials such as wood, metals, and composites and is therefore replacing them. This in turn is expected to positively impact the market.
Plastic is lightweight in nature and is therefore employed in the automotive sector. When different types of additives are added to plastics, it can serve in different application areas. For instance, flame-retardant additives are employed in plastic when it is used in construction, aerospace, and fire-fighting applications, while phthalate-free additives are used to make medical and food-grade plastics.
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 the growth. Attributed to its lightweight nature and lower cost, plastic is also employed in the manufacturing of 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 plastic in most of the end-use sectors has substantially increased the demand for plastic additives.
Toxicity and Environmental Effects of Phthalates May Hinder the Market
Phthalates are one of the most commonly used plasticizers that increase the transparency, flexibility, and durability of plastics. As a result of their lower cost, they are predominantly used in the softening of PVC and as plastic additives. However, there are several possible negative health and environmental effects associated with phthalates. For example, they get released into the environment during plastic 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 due to their high volatility can deposit the substance in the body. Such harmful effects can potentially hamper the market growth.
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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 2019 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 plasticizers 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 plasticizers 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 plastic 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 plastic 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 plastic 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 plastic additives segment.
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Packaging Segment Accounted for the Major Share in 2019
Based on End-Use, the market is segmented into packaging, construction, automotive, consumer goods, and others. 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 application 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 overall weight of the vehicle, 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 owing to the lower manufacturing costs and high functionality of these materials. 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 used in consumer goods manufacturing 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, 2016-2027 (USD Billion)
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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 the regional market positively.
Asia Pacific is anticipated to hold a key position in the plastic additives market share owing to a large number of 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 is leading 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 plastics market.
Europe is a major automotive manufacturing region with highly developed production technologies. The increasing adoption of lightweight plastic 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 for plastic additives. 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 plastic 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.
Latin America is experiencing considerable growth in the mining industry. Major players manufacturing PPE materials for mining workers primarily use plastic. Increasing mining activities are encouraging market growth. The increase in the demand for food-grade plastic 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 for plastic materials 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 of the producers are maintaining a competitive edge through the strategies of product development, 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 plastic additives market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects, such as leading companies, product types, and leading application 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 over recent years.
Volume (Kilo Ton); Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 46.59 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 74.61 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the market value stood at USD 46.59 billion.
Growing at a CAGR of 6.2%, the market will exhibit moderate growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The packaging segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Rising demand from the automotive industry is the key factor driving the market growth.
Songwon Industrial Co. Ltd, Clariant AG, Evonik Industries, and Kaneka Corporation are some of the leading players in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2019.
The increasing demand for convenience food, which is raising the demand for food-grade plastics used for packaging, shall drive product demand.
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