The Global Market for Biobased and Natural Microbeads to 2027

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Published October 2022 | 100 pages, 32 tables, 23 figures | Download table of contents

Plastic microbeads are a multi-billion dollar market, with applications in markets ranging from cosmetics to oil & gas.  However, their use is limited in some applications, and regulatory curbs regarding use are likely to increase. 

Replacement of plastic microbeads with biodegradable and non-toxic alternatives is increasingly important and the market will grow to meet both regulatory demands and increased use of microbeads in healthcare (e.g pharmaceuticals and drug delivery), food and beverages), paints and coatings, and cosmetics and personal care sectors.

Microplastics can be separated into primary and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics are mostly thermoset and thermoplast plastic materials that have been added to products to fulfil a certain function. For example, these synthetic non-degradable polymers are used in personal care and cosmetics for exfoliation, film formation, sorbents for delivering active ingredients, skin conditioning etc.. While some of these microbeads are clearly visible, others are in the micro- or nanometre range.

Personal care and cosmetic products since the 1990s have been increasingly formulated to include microbeads to improve their abrasive and other qualities. Many companies have curtailed their use or pivoted to natural alternatives, but it still represents a sizeable global market.

Secondary microplastics are formed by the fragmentation of macroplastics (>5 mm) by processes such as weathering of plastic litter and paint layers, as well as wear of car tyres and are the main focus of environmental concerns. However, primary microplastics also raise issues and are a target for regulation. Therefore the developments of biobased and natural alternatives has grown in recent years.

This report covers primary microplastics based on petroleum-based polymers and biobased and natural alternatives in the following markets:

  • Personal care.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Agriculture and horticulture.
  • Paints and coatings.
  • Oil and gas.
  • Medical and pharma.
  • Industrial abrasives.

 

Commercially available biodegradable plastics and natural materials used as primary microplastic alternatives covered include:

  • natural hard materials
  • starch based materials
  • bacteria based materials (e.g. PHA)
  • soy based materials
  • cellulose based materials
  • lignin based materials
  • natural fibers (e.g. bamboo, jute, sisal, etc.)

 

Data presented includes:

  • Markets and applications for primary microplastics including global production in tonnes 2017-2027, applications, types of microplastics added.
  • Markets and applications for biobased and natural microplastics alternative materials including types, applications, global production and suppliers.
  • Profiles of 33 producers. Companies profiled include Asahi Kasei, Calyxia, Daicel, Daito Kasei Kogyo Co., JNC, Naturbeads and Rengo.

 

 

1              REPORT METHODOLOGY              9

 

2              MICROPLASTICS ADDED TO PRODUCTS MARKET 10

  • 2.1          Microplastics added to products                11
    • 2.1.1      Classification      11
    • 2.1.2      Function and applications             12
  • 2.2          Global market size           13
    • 2.2.1      Global market 2021, applications              14
      • 2.2.1.1   Personal care     14
      • 2.2.1.2   Cosmetics           15
      • 2.2.1.3   Agriculture and horticulture        17
      • 2.2.1.4   Paints & coatings              19
      • 2.2.1.5   Soap, detergents and maintenance products       20
      • 2.2.1.6   Oil and gas          22
      • 2.2.1.7   Medical products             22
    • 2.2.2      Global market 2021, by sector (volume in tonnes)             24
    • 2.2.3      Global market 2021, by region (volume in tonnes)            25
    • 2.2.4      Global market 2017-2021, by sector (volume in tonnes) 26
    • 2.2.5      Global market 2022-2027, by sector (estimated volume in tonnes)            28
    • 2.2.6      Global market 2017-2027, by sector (estimated revenues)            30
    • 2.2.7      Global market 2017-2021, by region (volume in tonnes) 32

 

3              MICROPLASTIC ALTERNATIVES-CELLULOSE AND OTHER NATURAL MICROBEADS  MARKET           34

  • 3.1          Use as an alternative to microplastics      34
  • 3.2          Likelihood of market penetration of natural microplastic alternatives       36
  • 3.3          Natural hard materials   36
  • 3.4          Natural polymers             38
    • 3.4.1      Polysaccharides 38
      • 3.4.1.1   Starch   38
        • 3.4.1.1.1               Applications       38
        • 3.4.1.1.2               Companies         38
      • 3.4.1.2   Cellulose              39
        • 3.4.1.2.1               Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) 39
        • 3.4.1.2.1.1           Applications       39
        • 3.4.1.2.1.2           Companies         39
      • 3.4.1.2.2               Regenerated cellulose microspheres       40
        • 3.4.1.2.2.1           Applications       40
        • 3.4.1.2.2.2           Companies         40
      • 3.4.1.2.3               Cellulose nanocrystals    40
        • 3.4.1.2.3.1           Applications       41
        • 3.4.1.2.3.2           Companies         42
      • 3.4.1.2.4               Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC)     44
        • 3.4.1.2.4.1           Companies         48
      • 3.4.1.3   Chitin    48
        • 3.4.1.3.1               Description         48
        • 3.4.1.3.2               Applications       48
        • 3.4.1.3.3               Companies         49
      • 3.4.2      Proteins               49
        • 3.4.2.1   Collagen/Gelatin              49
          • 3.4.2.1.1               Applications       49
        • 3.4.2.2   Casein   49
      • 3.4.3      Polyesters           50
        • 3.4.3.1   Polyhydroxyalkanoates 50
          • 3.4.3.1.1               Applications       51
          • 3.4.3.1.2               Companies         52
        • 3.4.3.2   Polylactic acid    54
          • 3.4.3.2.1               Applications       54
          • 3.4.3.2.2               Companies         54
      • 3.4.4      Other natural polymers 55
        • 3.4.4.1   Lignin    55
          • 3.4.4.1.1               Description         55
          • 3.4.4.1.2               Applications       57
          • 3.4.4.1.3               Companies         58
    • 3.5          Global market size           61
      • 3.5.1      Global market 2017-2027, for alternative and natural microbeads (volume in tonnes)       61

 

4              PRODUCER PROFILES      62 (33 company profiles)

 

5              REFERENCES       97

 

List of Tables

  • Table 1. Summary of functions and applications for microplastics.              12
  • Table 2. Personal care products containing primary microplastics.              14
  • Table 3. Agriculture and horticulture products containing microplastics.  17
  • Table 4. Soaps, detergents and maintenance products containing microplastics.  20
  • Table 5. Example microsphere products in drug delivery. 23
  • Table 6. Medical products containing microplastics.          24
  • Table 7. Global market for primary microparticles 2017-2021, by sector, tonnes. 26
  • Table 8. Global market for primary microparticles 2022-2027, by sector, tonnes. 28
  • Table 9. Global market 2017-2027, by sector (estimated revenues, millions USD).               30
  • Table 10. Global market for primary microparticles 2017-2021, by region, tonnes.              32
  • Table 11. Biodegradable polymers.          35
  • Table 12. Likelihood of market penetration of natural microplastic alternatives.   36
  • Table 13.Companies developing starch microspheres/microbeads.            38
  • Table 14. Companies developing microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) spheres/beads.              39
  • Table 15. Companies developing cellulose microbeads.   40
  • Table 16. CNC properties.             41
  • Table 17. Applications of cellulose nanocrystals (NCC).    42
  • Table 18. Companies developing cellulose nanocrystal microbeads.           42
  • Table 19. Cellulose nanocrystal production capacities and production process, by producer.          43
  • Table 20. Applications of bacterial nanocellulose (BNC). 47
  • Table 21. Companies developing bacterial nanocellulose microbeads.      48
  • Table 22.Companies developing chitin microspheres/microbeads.             49
  • Table 23.Types of PHAs and properties. 51
  • Table 24. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) producers.           52
  • Table 25. Companies developing PHA for microbeads.     53
  • Table 26. PLA producers and production capacities.          54
  • Table 27. Technical lignin types and applications.               55
  • Table 28. Properties of lignins and their applications.       57
  • Table 29. Production capacities of technical lignin producers.       58
  • Table 30. Production capacities of biorefinery lignin producers.   59
  • Table 31. Companies developing lignin for microbeads (current or potential applications).              59
  • Table 32. Lactips plastic pellets. 85

 

List of Figures

  • Figure 1. Typical sources of primary microplastics.             11
  • Figure 2. Total quantity of microplastics present in personal care products 2021 (tonnes), by scale.            15
  • Figure 3. Toothpaste incorporating microbeads. 16
  • Figure 4. Total quantity of microplastics present in cosmetics 2021 (tonnes), by scale.      17
  • Figure 5. Total quantity of microplastics present in agriculture and horticulture 2021 (tonnes), by scale.   18
  • Figure 6. Total quantity of microplastics present in paints and coatings 2021 (tonnes), by scale.    19
  • Figure 7. Total quantity of microplastics present in Soaps, detergents and maintenance products 2021 (tonnes), by scale.     21
  • Figure 8. Total quantity of microplastics present in oil and gas 2021 (tonnes), by scale.     22
  • Figure 9. Global market by sector, primary microparticles, tonnes.             24
  • Figure 10. Global market by region 2021, primary microparticles, tonnes.               25
  • Figure 11. Global market for primary microparticles 2017-2021, by sector, tonnes.             27
  • Figure 12. Global market for primary microparticles 2022-2027, by sector, tonnes.             29
  • Figure 13. Global market 2017-2027, by sector (estimated revenues, USD).           31
  • Figure 14. Global market for primary microparticles 2017-2021, by region, tonnes.            32
  • Figure 15. Bacterial nanocellulose shapes.            46
  • Figure 16. Global market 2017-2027, for biobased and natural microbeads (volume in tonnes).    61
  • Figure 17: CNC produced at Tech Futures’ pilot plant; cloudy suspension (1 wt.%), gel-like (10 wt.%), flake-like crystals, and very fine powder. Product advantages include:          75
  • Figure 18: NCCTM Process.          76
  • Figure 19. Pressurized Hot Water Extraction.       77
  • Figure 20. BELLOCEA™.  79
  • Figure 21. VIVAPUR® MCC Spheres.         84
  • Figure 22. Viscopearl®.  91
  • Figure 23. The Proesa® Process. 95

 

 

 

The Global Market for Biobased and Natural Microbeads to 2027
The Global Market for Biobased and Natural Microbeads to 2027
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The Global Market for Biobased and Natural Microbeads to 2027
The Global Market for Biobased and Natural Microbeads to 2027
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