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Rising demand for 'green' packaging

September 13, 2011
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World demand for sustainable packaging is projected to rise 5.7% per year to $212 billion in 2015 according to a study by ReportLinker.com. Advances will be driven by growth in manufacturing activity and trends toward environmentally friendly packaging. While recycled content packaging will remain by far the largest product type through the forecast period and beyond, this segment will see the slowest increases, due to the maturity of many products (e.g., metal cans and glass containers). On the other hand, above-average demand growth is expected in reusable and degradable packaging. In particular, demand for degradable packaging will continue to see double-digit annual growth rates.

Recycled content packaging to remain leading type

Growth in recycled content packaging will be supported by increased collection activity and processing capacity, coupled with greater use of recycled content packaging by firms seeking to demonstrate environmental responsibility and differentiate their products. Also supporting advances will be initiatives by industry associations, brand owners, packaging firms and others to promote recycling initiatives in order to raise the recycling rates of different types of packaging materials. Demand for reusable packaging will be boosted by an acceleration in global manufacturing activity. In particular, demand for reusable drums will benefit from an upswing in global chemical output, as chemicals comprise the leading application for these products. Demand for degradable packaging will continue to see the fastest advances, but will only account for approximately 1% of the overall green packaging market through 2015. Gains will be driven by greater price competitiveness with petroleum-based resins, capacity expansions, and enhanced performance properties brought about by the use of additives, improved polymerization and new blending techniques.

Strong growth in Asia, but U.S. remains leading market

The Asia/Pacific region will see the most rapid gains and remain the largest regional market in the world, due to its large food and beverage industries (which represent the main green packaging applications). Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region will also experience above average growth, though advances in these areas will stem from smaller bases (collectively, these three regions only accounted for 12% of global green packaging demand in 2010). Overall, the fastest growth will be seen in Asia, specifically in India, China and Indonesia. Other developing countries such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico are also expected to see healthy gains. In contrast, advances will generally be below average in North America and Western Europe, where markets are more established. The US, which accounted for 23% of global sales in 2010, is the largest national green packaging market in the world by a wide margin. Other large, but generally mature markets include Japan and Germany. While Japan will remain one of the largest national markets in the world, the country is forecast to see the slowest growth rate through 2015. Nonetheless, good opportunities will still be found in developed countries, especially for degradable packaging products such as films, containers and foodservice disposables.

This new industry study presents historical demand data (2000, 2005, 2010) plus forecasts for 2015 and 2020 by product, market, world region and for 18 countries. This study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, discusses competitive variables, evaluates company market share and profiles 47 industry competitors.  

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