The market for biorenewable materials in the Asia-Pacific is anticipated to grow at a rate of over 19% annually till 2018, according to an analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

The factors contributing to the growth include reduction in application development and technology licensing costs.

Titled ‘Strategic Analysis of the Asia-Pacific Biorenewable Materials Market’, the analysis reveals that the large replacement demand presents the market in the region with added growth opportunities.

It was found that in 2011 the market earned revenues of $46.8m, and this is estimated to reach $167m in 2018.

The study covers bioplastics, which are derived from renewable sources including poly-lactic acid (Pla), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) and starch-based polymers.

The Asia Pacific plastic packaging market, which accounts for over 1,200kt of plastics annually, consists of both rigid and flexible packaging.

Boosting the demand for bioplastics, particularly in flexible packaging applications, the market is expected to post rapid growth, with PLA expected to experience the highest growth rate thanks to substantial local capacity additions.

Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Sandeepan Mondal said rising oil prices have caused the price parity to widen between bioplastics and fossil fuel-based plastics, which are used on a large scale in the packaging industry.

"This closing gap in price difference further enhances the prospects of the bioplastics market," Mondal said.

The use of bio-based plastics offers various benefits including reduced dependence on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing.

It is necessary for the local governments to introduce codification for composting and biodegradability, and implement national standard certifications, which will encourage companies to enter the market, enabling the bioplastics market in the Asia-Pacific to attract investments.