The global biodegradable polymers market is growing and expected to reach 2.44 billion pounds by 2017, according to a new study.

The report by San Jose, Calif.-based Global Industry Analysts Inc. said in a news release the reasons for the increase include a rising demand in its biggest market, packaging; concerns over landfill space; a growing environmental emphasis; and a shift toward renewable resources, among other factors.

Europe is the largest geographic market for the material, but the focal point is shifting toward North America, according to the report, "Biodegradable Polymers: A Global Strategic Business Report." The U.S. market is driven primarily by growing consumer concerns about resources. The market has the challenges of a high price and a poor industrial infrastructure for composting.

Further market growth could come from technological innovations, packaging waste and landfill restrictions and an improved composting infrastructure.