Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Looking for Greener Alternatives to Plastics and Polymers


Increasing proliferation of novel wearables and smart home devices will create new growth opportunities, Frost & Sullivan predicts 

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Global consumer electronics manufacturers are increasingly partnering with material suppliers to develop greener, sustainable materials and bio-based alternatives, according to Frost & Sullivan.

This will transform the global plastics and polymers in consumer electronics applications market, said the research & consulting firm.

The collaborative development of application-specific grades, novel offerings, easier access to low-cost internet connectivity and efficacious substitutes are key factors poised to ignite fresh growth opportunities and transform the industry, it pointed out.

In addition, it is estimated that a growing emphasis on the incorporation of post-consumer recyclates will advance the adoption of eco-design principles and impact the consumption and inter-material dynamics across a range of consumer electronic devices.

Also, Frost & Sullivan predicted that the increasing proliferation of novel wearables and smart home devices will create avenues for growth in an otherwise mature market dominated by conventional electronic devices.

“There is also a renewed focus on the life cycle of materials in order to minimise the carbon footprint and better manage end-of-life concerns associated with the end product,” said Gautam Rashingkar, Research Analyst, Chemicals & Materials in Infrastructure & Mobility.

How businesses can benefit from this transformation 

As suggested by the firm, industry players can make the most of growth opportunities in the market by:

  • Adhering to stringent regulations and standards set forth by respective regulatory bodies.
  • Developing differentiated product offerings characterised by specific functionalities and properties.
  • Collaborating with value-chain partners to develop specific grades that ensure optimum efficiency, weight savings, balance of aesthetics and functionality. For instance, wearables are expected to offer significant material development opportunities.
  • Partnering with OEMs to quantify the environmental impact of the end product and assess the contribution of substitutes.
  • Strengthening electronics-specific material business strategies and portfolios in countries such as Vietnam, India and Mexico, where significant electronics manufacturing investments are expected.

Key factors that are expected to impede market growth

“Although there are significant growth opportunities, there are also growing concerns regarding the accumulation of electronic waste and use of recycled plastic resins containing legacy additives,” noted Rashingkar.

Furthermore, he added, dwindling sales of conventional desktop PCs, which account for a significant share of market volume, and increased adoption of non-plastic alternatives such as glass and aluminium, among other materials for certain high-end applications, are expected to impede market growth.




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