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APAC drives plastic film industry

China and India will be big growth areas for the plastic film and sheets industry, says a report by Markets and Markets. 

Sales of the products across the global food packaging market are expected to grow at 5.2% from 2013 to 2018: but increases in China and India and the ‘untapped Asia-Pacific market’ will be much higher, Niladri Chakraborty, senior research analyst, Markets and Markets, told FoodProductionDaily.com.

High demand

The food packaging market is being driven by Asia-Pacific,” he said. “There is a high demand for microwavable food and packaged food. When people had lower incomes, they did not spend on these items. But disposable income is increasing at a rapid rate.

Major sports events in Brazil – the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro – will boost the market for plastic films and sheets, Chakroborty added. “These will be a big drive in Brazil, and we’re expecting consumption there to increase,” he said.

Growth is expected to be much lower in European and north American countries, where there are stricter rules on recycling. Biodegradable products are being chosen instead of oil based plastics.

 “Even if they are using plastics, it’s often biodegradable plastics. They are moving away from packaging that is not completely biodegradable,” said Chakraborty.

However, use of specialty and high barrier films is growing in these regions.

BOPP boost 

The report says even though polyethylene is used as a key material, polypropylene is becoming the preferred choice for packaging. In particular, BOPP – a type of polypropylene – is growing at a ‘significant rate.’

BOPP film – biaxially orientated polypropylene – is stretched in both directions during manufacture. It is chosen for its flexibility and barrier properties (which block oxygen and water to keep food fresh).

Uses include packaging for snack foods, confectionery, meat and poultry, bakery products, frozen foods, and overwrapping for lots of products.

The demand for BOPP has been growing for the last five years and is expected to keep building for the next five years, Chakraborty said.

The global market for plastic films and sheets was estimated at $112.4 bn in 2012, and expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.4% from 2013 to 2018. The strength of the Asia-Pacific market creates a ‘good outlook’ for the plastic film and sheets industry, the report says.

Source: Markets and Markets

Published January 2014, report code CH2210.

“Plastic Films & Plastic Sheets Market by Application (Flexible & Non-Flexible Packaging, & Non-Packaging) & Type (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, CPP, BOPP, Polyester, PVC, Polyamide, EVOH, PLA, PVDC, PVOH, Polycarbonate & Others) - Global Trends & Forecasts to 2018.”

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