Packaging Film, Sheets Expected to Grow at 6 Percent Clip Through 2021

Business Research Company 12/20/2017 as seen in Flexible Packaging

The plastics packaging film and sheets manufacturing market, which comprises businesses that convert plastics resins into plastic packaging film and sheet, is worth $104 billion in 2017, according to research by The Business Research Company. The market is expected to grow at 6 percent year-on-year, reaching $131 billion by 2021. The growth is mainly supported by new developments in the packaging industry such as single-servings packs, standup pouches and easy-opening packs, which add to consumers’ convenience.

Concerns about environmental pollution caused by non-recyclable plastic bags, litter on beaches and in the marine environment are expected to restrain the market, which would otherwise grow even faster. Consumers increasingly reuse or recycle plastic packaging and governments have introduced regulations in terms of plastic waste. In response to the environmental challenge, companies in the industry have invested in R&D to produce recyclable plastic sheets. The biodegradable market, though less than a tenth of the whole, is growing faster than the non-biodegradable market, particularly in developed economies.

The market for plastic packaging film and sheet is categorized into three segments. Polyethylene (PE) is the biggest segment in 2017, making up more than two thirds of the market, followed by biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), worth just under a fifth of the whole. Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) is the other segment. At 8.8 percent year-on-year, BOPET will be the fastest-growing segment from 2017 to 2021. However, all segments will grow faster from 2017 to 2021 than before 2017.

Asia-Pacific is the both the largest market for plastic film and sheets, worth two-thirds of the global total, but is also the fastest-growing of the large regions, increasing year-on-year at twice the rate of North America. Western Europe, the third biggest region, is growing even more slowly than North America, except for BOPET, which is increasing at a remarkable 8.4 percent a year.

Within Asia, while China’s market is easily the largest, valued at two-fifths of the whole region, India’s is growing much faster, at nearly 11 percent year on year. The market in Japan is amongst the slowest-growing in the world, though it is outpacing the country’s 1 percent GDP growth