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Lactic Acid & Polylactic Acid Market Historical Analysis and Industry Outlook 2031

Reaching Sustainable Goals Delayed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Although the COVID-19 outbreak has had a short-term positive impact on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it has delayed the timeline for reaching sustainable development goals. The adoption of sustainable production processes is linked to high costs. Such findings are anticipated to affect business activities in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market, since stakeholders are bullish on expanding uses of polylactic acid (PLA) in biodegradable thermoplastics.
For cash-rich companies in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market, the coronavirus outbreak is emerging as an opportunity to rethink their long-term objectives for economic, social, and environmental aspects as part of their response plan. Stakeholders are establishing stable income sources from key revenue generating industries such as polymer, food & beverage (F&B), packaging, and textiles.
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Polylactic Acid Associated with Non-compatibility in Packaging Manufacturing Processes
Polylactic acid is a bioplastic made from lactic acid, which is used in the food industry to package sensitive food products. However, polylactic acid is too fragile and not compatible with many packaging manufacturing processes. Hence, companies in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market are increasing their R&D to strengthen PLA with additives in order to make it ideal for packaging applications.
Mulch films, tea bags, and cups are fueling the demand for polylactic acid. Since PLA is biocompatible, it is suitable for medical implants intended to be absorbed by the body.
Potential of Lactic Acid in Treatment of Multiple Skincare Problems Translates into Value-grab Opportunities
The lactic acid market and polylactic acid market are expected to grow at CAGRs of 13.7% and 15.8%, respectively, during the forecast period. Lactic acid is gaining prominence in personal care as it significantly improves the appearance of skin. Hence, manufacturers in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market are bolstering their production capabilities in serums, lotions, and cleansers, among others to capitalize on revenue opportunities.
The Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid treatment is being publicized with positive reviews on e-commerce platforms such as Sephora. The capability of lactic acid in treating multiple skincare problems such as redness, discoloration, and dark spots is translating into value-grab opportunities for personal care brands.
Companies Enter Joint Ventures for Producing, Marketing PLA Polymers
In order to meet the challenge of climate change, stakeholders in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market are exploring promising pathways for converting biomass and polylactic acid into bioplastics. TotalEnergies SE - a French multinational integrated oil and gas company, is developing its portfolio in bioplastics with the help of biomass and polylactic acid.
Despite being bio-based and biodegradable polymer, polylactic acid has the capability to mimic the properties of conventional polymers in terms of performance. Companies in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market are setting their collaboration wheels in motion to enter joint ventures for producing and marketing PLA polymers.
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Patented Processes Help Produce Lactic Acid from Biodiesel Production Wastes
Companies in the lactic acid & polylactic acid market are gaining a strong research base to develop a process that converts the glycerin produced in the production of biodiesel into lactic acid. This will not only help to utilize waste produced during the biodiesel production, but also important resources are saved in the production of lactic acid. Such findings are helping biodiesel manufacturers to expand their market growth and deploy steady growth in the lactic acid market.
The growing production of biodiesel has led to increased availability for fatty acids and glycerin. ab&cd Innovations - a specialist in the development of strategies for the conversion of industrial waste or by-products into value added chemicals, is gaining recognition for developing their patented process to obtain lactic acid in high purity by optimally matching certain catalyst materials & reaction conditions.
Lactic Acid & Polylactic Acid Market: Overview
• Lactic acid is considered one of the well-known organic acids with a wide range of industrial applications. It is primarily used in food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industries. It is a lactic acid bacteria, which refers to a large group of beneficial bacteria with probiotic properties. Lactic acid plays a crucial role in the preparation of wine and fermented dairy products, pickling of vegetables, and curing of fish, meat, and sausages.
• Lactic acid is not only a significant ingredient in fermented foods, including canned vegetables, yogurt, and butter, but is also used as a preservative and acidulant in pickled vegetables and olives
• Polylactic acid is primarily employed in the production of microwaveable containers such as disposable cutlery and food containers. The beneficial properties of packaging containers, such as esthetic appeal, better printability, and resistance to grease & oil are boosting the demand for polylactic acid in the formulation of packaging solutions for food products.
• Polylactic acid is used in the manufacture of components that are employed in the automotive sector. It is used in applications such as interior parts and under-the-hood components. Polylactic acid is known for reducing the carbon footprint, owing to its high bio-content. It offers numerous properties such as better impact and UV resistance, high gloss, and dimensional stability. In terms of end-use industry, the polylactic acid market has been classified into packaging, textile, automobile, electrical & electronics, agriculture, construction, and others.
• According to Transparency Market Research’s latest research report on the lactic acid & polylactic acid market for the forecast period of 2021 to 2031, rise in usage of lactic acid & polylactic acid in polymer food and beverages, personal care, packaging, textile, and automobile end-use industries is a key factor that is expected to boost the global lactic acid & polylactic acid market during the forecast period
• In terms of revenue, the global lactic acid market is estimated to cross US$ 11.51 Bn by 2031 at a CAGR of 13.7% during the forecast period
• In terms of revenue, the global polylactic acid market is projected to surpass US$ 4.69 Bn by 2031 at a CAGR of 15.8% during the forecast period
Strong Outlook for Bioplastics in Packaging Industry: Key Driver of Lactic Acid & Polylactic Acid Market
• Demand for biodegradable polymers has been rising significantly since the past few years, due to the growth in awareness among consumers about polymers produced using polylactic acid. Food packaging manufacturers are focusing on polylactic acid for general-purpose packaging applications such as trays and yogurt cups. These are common alternatives for takeaway food packaging.
• According to a study published by the European Bioplastics, an association representing the interests of the thriving bioplastics industry in Europe, in collaboration with the Germany-based nova-Institute, the global production capacity of bioplastics is likely to increase from nearly 2.11 million tons in 2018 to approximately 2.62 million tons by 2023. The study also stated that bioplastics represent nearly 1% of the 335 million tons of plastic produced annually. Packaging remains the largest field of application for bioplastics, accounting for nearly 65% (1.2 million tons) of the total bioplastics market in 2018. Innovative biopolymers, such as polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoates, are expected to be the key factors driving the bio-based and biodegradable plastics industry. Rise in demand for advanced biopolymers in end-use applications and innovative products is a key factor that is projected to drive the market during the forecast period.
• Packaging was the dominating end-use segment of the global polylactic acid market in 2020 owing to the wide utilization of polylactic acid in the manufacture of bottles, jars, and containers, and fresh food packaging solutions. Increase in consumer inclination toward sustainable packaging and rise in environmental concerns across the globe are prompting manufacturers to use polylactic acid in various packaging solutions.
• The packaging industry is one of the major consumers of polylactic acid, especially in the food packaging sector. Polylactic acid plastic bottles are durable, disposable, and possess properties such as transparency and gloss.
Sugarcane Dominates Lactic Acid & Polylactic Acid Market
• Based on source, the sugarcane segment dominated the global lactic acid & polylactic acid market in 2020. This can be primarily ascribed to the increase in demand for lactic acid and polylactic acid in various applications, including polymer, food & beverages, personal care, pharmaceutical, packaging, textile, automobile, electrical & electronics, agriculture, and construction industries.
• Raw sugar extracted from sugar beet or sugarcane is one of the major feedstock used in the manufacture of lactic acid. Sugarcane contributes considerably to the development of bioplastics and the growth of food and biochemical industries.
• Corn accounted for significant share of the market in 2020. It has emerged as a prominent raw material, owing to its low cost, sustainability, and abundant availability. Rise in environmental concerns, sustainable processing practices, and limited supply of petroleum feedstock are anticipated to augment the demand for corn-based lactic acid products during the forecast period.


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