According to a recent report from Transparency Market Research, the global plastic packaging market was valued at nearly $260 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach a little more than $370 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period between 2014 and 2020. In terms of volume, the plastic packaging market was worth 78,400.2 kilo tons in 2013.
A rising demand for plastic packaging in the healthcare sector is expected to be one of the key drivers contributing to the growth of this market. Also, as the food & beverages market continues to expand, which is the largest application of plastic packaging, this, too, is expected to fuel growth.
Consumer behavior is also taken into account as attitudes have shifted towards lighter materials, durability and packaging aesthetics. This is expected to drive growth in the plastic packaging market over the course of the next few years.
Downside is the volatility in prices of crude oil which consequently affects the prices of its downstream chemicals. This may hamper the plastic packaging market adversely. Research and development activities on plastic packaging technologies have opened up opportunities for the usage of nanotechnology in the formation of films and printing, according to the report.
Polyethylene is still the lowest cost and most widely-used plastic film for food packaging across the globe. Polypropylene is also becoming a big contender in the plastic packaging market. Bioplastics is expected to become more in demand and open up growth avenues in the plastic packaging industry.
No surprise here, demand for plastic packaging was highest in the food & beverages sector which received more than 65% of the market share in 2013. As more and more regulations are being set in place regarding pharmaceutical packaging in regards to maintenance of hygiene, reduction of fraudulent drugs in the retail market and to retain the medicinal properties of the drug, this area is expected to witness the fastest growth from the medical application segment over the next few years.
Asia Pacific accounted for the highest demand for plastic packaging in 2013, which was over 35% of the market share, due to the presence of a large number of industries in this region. This trend is expected to continue over the forecast period on account of rapid economic development in this region resulting in the growth of industries such as food & beverages, personal care products and pharmaceuticals among others. Regions elsewhere are expected to witness heightened consumption of packaging as a result of economic development in countries such as Brazil.