A new report from Vision Research Reports shows that by 2030, the size of the plastic packaging market is expected to reach approximately US$586.2 billion. In 2020, the global plastic packaging market is worth US$348.08 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% during the forecast period from 2021 to 2030.
The rapid expansion of the food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical industries, coupled with the increasing penetration of organized and e-retail worldwide, is expected to drive market growth.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the most widely used materials for manufacturing products, such as bottles and cans, pallets And containers, packaging & films and pouches, because they are cost-effective, light weight, versatile and strong moisture resistance. The growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions has prompted manufacturers to use recycled plastic resins to make such products.
Globally, lifestyle changes have led to the introduction of disposable packaging, which has made a significant contribution to market growth in the past few years. In addition, technological advancements, such as the development of modified atmosphere technology (MAP) and airless packaging, and their increasing penetration in the food and beverage and personal care industries, may drive the growth of the global market.
However, plastic is a non-biodegradable and unsustainable material; therefore, its products, especially disposable packaging solutions, are banned in many countries. For example, on March 11, 2020, the European Union (EU) issued a new “Circular Economy Action Plan” aimed at promoting sustainable packaging in the region. In addition, the increasing level of consumer awareness has forced manufacturers to switch to biodegradable materials, which is expected to hinder industry growth to a certain extent.
The Asia-Pacific region has become the leading regional market, with a revenue share of 43.8% in 2020, and is expected to have the fastest compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2028.
This growth is attributed to the strong growth of the manufacturing and e-commerce industries in several emerging Asian countries such as India, China and Thailand. The global market is highly fragmented, with large international companies as well as small and medium domestic companies. Major players are focusing on acquisitions and continue to expand their product portfolio to gain the largest market share.
Due to its robustness and high aesthetic appeal, the rigid product segment will account for the largest revenue share in 2020, at 61.1%. In addition, the high barrier properties provided by rigid products, such as high barriers to light, moisture, and oxygen, also contribute to the segment’s revenue share. The reusability of these products, such as pallets, medium-sized bulk containers and other industrial packaging products, may benefit market segment growth in the next few years.
The market segment is further divided into bottles and cans, cans, pallets and containers, bottle caps and bottle caps, cans, etc. Plastic bottles are widely used in beverage packaging because of their convenience, low cost and superior performance. The trays and containers are used in the catering service and packaged food fields because of their low weight and beautiful appearance.
The flexible product segment is expected to achieve the fastest compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028. This market segment is further divided into packaging and film, bags, pouches, etc. Sachets are becoming more and more popular in the market because they require fewer raw materials to produce than rigid products such as bottles and cans. In addition, the convenience of multiple closure options in the pouch, such as zippers, tear openings, and nozzles, drives its demand.
Since most flexible packaging products (such as bags, bags and films) are produced with the help of extrusion technology, the extrusion technology sector has the largest revenue share in 2020, exceeding 38%. Since the above-mentioned flexible products have higher sustainability and lower cost than rigid products, their increasing popularity is expected to drive the growth of market segments in the next few years.
It is estimated that from 2021 to 2028, the compound annual growth rate of thermoforming technology is the fastest. Rigid products, such as blisters, clam shells, trays, containers, lids, bowls, plates, etc., are all manufactured using thermoforming processes. Due to the increasing focus on sustainable packaging, the demand for lightweight and thin-format packaging solutions continues to grow, which is expected to be attributed to the rapid growth in the field of thermoforming technology.
Injection molding technology is commonly used to produce rigid or strong products such as industrial containers, crates, lids and closures. However, the higher delivery times and mold costs involved in injection molding technology may hinder the growth of this segment during the forecast period. Blow molding is a popular plastic molding process designed to manufacture hollow parts such as bottles, liquid containers, barrels, and storage tanks. There are three main types of blow molding technology, namely extrusion, injection and injection stretch blow molding. Among them, extrusion blow molding is the most commonly used process for manufacturing complex product shapes (such as bottles or containers).
In 2020, food and beverage applications will lead the global plastic packaging market with a revenue share of more than 51%. This market segment is expected to witness substantial growth during the forecast period. Changing consumer lifestyles and food preferences have led to growth in the packaging and processed food manufacturing industry, which in turn may drive market growth. In addition, increased consumption of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages is expected to support the growth of this segment.
Due to its convenience, single-service consumer packaging has achieved significant growth in the past few years. Consumers’ increasing attention to health and well-being and increasing awareness of water-borne diseases, coupled with increasing spending power, have driven the global demand for packaged drinking water, which is expected to have a positive impact on the growth of food and beverage applications .
The pharmaceutical sector is expected to achieve the fastest compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2028. Due to the increasing aging of the population, the increasing demand for medicines in Europe and North America is expected to benefit the development of the sector. In addition, the increase in the production of generic drugs is expected to increase the demand for plastic packaging solutions in the pharmaceutical application field.
In terms of income, personal and home care applications are expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4.3% during the forecast period. As consumers’ awareness of personal beauty and hygiene continues to increase, the industry has witnessed significant growth. In addition, the increased demand for plant-based or clean label cosmetics is expected to play a key role in the growth of this segment during the forecast period.
The Asia-Pacific region leads the market with a revenue share of more than 42% in 2020, and is expected to expand further at the fastest compound annual growth rate from 2021 to 2028. The rapid growth of application industries in major economies such as China, India, Vietnam, and South Korea, and Thailand, are expected to drive regional markets during the forecast period.
In terms of demand and production, China dominates the Asia-Pacific market. The country’s large population supports the development of the food and beverage, automotive, personal care, construction and consumer electronics industries and is expected to be a key driver of market expansion.
Europe has become the second largest regional market; however, it is expected to grow slowly during the forecast period. Strict regulations on the use of plastic products and increased consumer awareness of sustainability are the main reasons for the slow growth of the market in this region.