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Plastic Materials and Resins Plastic Products Italy Biodiversity

Italy Bioplastics Market: Opportunities for U.S. Companies

According to a Plastic Consult’s report prepared for Assobioplastiche, European demand for bioplastics (compostable, bio-attributed, and bio-based) grew more than 23% annually from 2019 to 2021, increasing from 210,000 to 320,000 tons.  CO2 reduction targets are expected to stimulate the demand further for both bio-based and fully and/or partially renewable polymers.  Significant investments for biorefineries and to achieve stakeholders’ other development objectives should lead to production of another 100 kilotons of totally and/or partially renewable polymers by 2030 in Europe.

In 2021 in Italy, as highlighted by Plastic Consult’s report, the biodegradable and compostable plastics industry was made up of 275 companies (five chemical producers, 20 granule producers and distributors, 250 processors) with 2,895 employees and €1 billion in revenue.  The volume of bioplastics produced in 2020 increased 13.2%, compared to the previous year.

Developments in the market for compostable bioplastics are closely linked to evolution of legislation.  Thanks to the collection of organic waste (mandatory in all EU countries by the end of 2030), there are market opportunities for waste bags and other applications such as bioplastics in contact with food and films for agriculture.  The Single Use Plastic (SUP) Directive – even before coming into force in January 2022- has influenced the market, with Italian production of single use products (traditional plastic and biodegradable plastics) falling 31.7% from 2020 to 2021. 

Large investments and U.S. export opportunities for companies are expected in Europe, as the trend in consumption indicates a demand that is far greater than the production capacity installed in Europe.  Demand for new materials and innovative processing technologies is high and contributes to the European and Italian plastics circular economy policy.  

US companies interested in connecting with Italian distributors, seeking representation and information on how the U.S. Commercial service can assist U.S. companies should reach out to Commercial Specialist