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04-27-2017

Growing Demand for Plastic Films

Ceresana expects a growing demand for plastic films (© Ceresana)

Ceresana expects a growing demand for plastic films (© Ceresana)

According to market research and consulting company Ceresana, sales of plastic films will presumably reach a volume of about USD 250 billion until 2024." For their recent study, Ceresana analyzed the global market for flexible plastic films of all kinds already for the second time. These include besides packaging, such as bags and sacks, also films for, e.g., agriculture, the construction industry, and technical applications.

Since organic foodstuffs and sustainability gain more and more importance for the consumers, the market for packaging that is considered as ecological is growing rapidly. Especially disposable food packaging offers a great potential for the usage of bioplastics. Ceresana expects the demand for bioplastics in Europe in the segment packaging to grow by over 15% p.a. in the upcoming years. Packaging made of recycled plastics will also increase as well.

Yet, more conventional materials remain in demand as well: The analysts expect a growth by, on average, 4.0% p.a. in the near future for global demand for polypropylene films (BOPP). Biaxially oriented polypropylene films (BOPP films) are mainly utilized for foodstuffs packaging. However, BOPP films are not readily heat sealable. As this is a prime re-quirement for packaging films, BOPP is normally given a surface coating of a heat sealable polymer such as a coextruded PP random copolymer. Hot sealable BOPP films can be used for, e.g., packaging of foodstuffs, baked goods, snack products, pastas, dried fruits, potato products, stationary, textiles, cosmetics,and medical products.

Increasingly complex packaging is especially in demand for pharmaceutical products and fresh foodstuffs. So-called MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) is supposed to protect the foodstuffs from a fast decay and to increase the date of minimum durability with an artificially created protective atmosphere. Another segment where innovative packaging that allows for a fast and clean preparation of the meal is presented constantly is ready-made meals. Microwaveable packaging is a growing segment as well as stand-up pouches or individual packaging that offer a better dosing and durability.

Besides the trends of the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) packaging market, numerous other factors influence the demand for plastic films on several national markets as well. For example, many countries try to contain the demand for disposable carrier bags. Demand for secondary and transport packaging such as shrink and stretch films depends to a large extent on the macroeconomic development and the consumer climate of the respective country. In some countries, the efforts to intensify the agriculture propel the use of agricultural films. And, last but not least, the demand for construction films is closely related to the order situation of the individual construction industries.

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