Pre-packed food drives plastic packaging growth

The replacement of traditional materials, improvements in polymer
properties and processing equipment, and growth in the pre-packed
food market are the...

The replacement of traditional materials, improvements in polymer properties and processing equipment, and growth in the pre-packed food market are the main factors driving the plastics food and beverage packaging market, according to a recent report by market research company Frost & Sullivan. The overall market continues to show good growth prospects. In 2000, total revenues of plastic resins used in this market amounted to $4.91 billion and are projected at $7.15 billion in 2007, representing average annual growth of 5.5 per cent. There are significant differences in projected growth rates for the various commodity plastics used for food and beverage packaging. Frost & Sullivan analyst David Plat, "During the forecast period of 2000 - 2007 thermoformed and injection moulded polypropylene are expected to show the highest annual growth rates (10.7 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively). Bottle-grade PET growth is not far behind at 9.2 per cent/annum. In contrast, the slowest growing polymers will be flexible PVC which is forecast to remain virtually static, and expandable polystyrene with projected growth of 0.6 per cent per annum."​ The study highlights the trends in inter-polymer substitution taking place in the food and beverage packaging market. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) for mineral water bottles has propelled polyester into the number one position of the market with a 30.5 per cent share of total market revenues in 2000. Polystyrene, with 17.7 per cent of total market revenues is the second most important polymer used in food & beverage packaging, followed by polypropylene with 16.6 per cent and LDPE with 14.2 per cent. PET, polypropylene and LLDPE are projected to increase their market share even further during the next five years, while PVC, LDPE, polystyrene and to a lesser extent HDPE will continue to lose market share. Source: Frost and Sullivan​ report: The European Market for Plastics in Food Packaging May 2001.

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