Plastic Bottles and Containers Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)
The plastic bottles and containers market was estimated at USD 39.03 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 50.19 billion by 2025, while registering a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period of 2020 to 2025. Plastic packaging is becoming popular among consumers, and the market has been seeing trends toward developing and utilizing plastic that can be recycled and reuse to manufacture of packaging products. For instance, in October 2019, Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) announced that its cleaning brands Fairy, Flash, and Viakal might replace virgin plastic in the supply chain by increasing the use of recycled plastic to 9,000t of postconsumer and postindustrial resin. This equates to the amount of waste produced by 6.5 million people in Europe every day. The company’s plan is expected to result in a total of 300 million bottles to be converted to either 100% recycled or partially recycled plastic across the European household cleaning brands annually.
Increasing the adoption of lightweight packaging methods is driving the market. Plastics are prized for being lightweight. According to CustomPak, though over 50% of all European goods are packaged in plastics, these plastics only account for 17% of all packaging weight. Further, a plastic two fl. oz bottle weighs only 0.023 lbs, while its glass counterpart weighs 0.177 lbs. Though this is a small difference when analyzing a single bottle, when ordering pallets in bulk, it can add up to significant figures that impact a company’s profit margin.
While on the other hand, the demand for aluminum beverage can is also significant. The average weight of an empty aluminum can is 14.9 grams. Though these materials are light in weight, the probability of beverage cans to be damaged during the transportation is high compared to plastic bottles. Therefore, the lightweight property of the plastic has driven its adoption in the manufacturing of bottles and containers.
However, environmental concerns regarding the use of plastics is restraining market growth. Since the past decade, awareness among the population regarding the harmful effects of plastic usage has been growing drastically. Many public campaigns and initiatives by governments have resulted in increased awareness among the public. Thus, the consumption of plastic packaging witnessed a significant impact in the past few years.
For instance, in October 2019, the Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) considered key regulations to reduce the utilization of plastic in food packaging, for which the authority is investigating the possibility of regulations on small packs of commodities, such as water bottles. Additionally, the authority is aiming at removing the regulations on the usage of nontransparent bottles for drinking water, thereby, facilitating businesses to investigate the possibilities of the use of alternatives other than the PET bottles, which are currently in use.
Further, with the COVID19 outbreak affecting the market, countries, globally, seem to be shifting toward singleuse plastics. Supply chains, additionally, are being strained to meet a surge in demand for singleuse plastic packaging and medical supplies. Multiple governments, such as in India, the Tamil Nadu government suspended the ban on singleuse plastic bottles and bags in retail trade in the wake of the COVID19 disruption.
Some fast food and retail chains, such as Starbucks, banned the use of reusable cups and food containers to curb the spread of the virus. Whereas, in the United States, Maine postponed a plastic bag ban, while New Hampshire and the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, banned reusable bags during the outbreak while ordering the retail stores to use singleuse paper or plastic bags. New York State’s ban on singleuse plastic bags, which went into effect on March 1, 2020, the enforcement was postponed to May 15, 2020. Such a spike in plastic demand would likely lead to a temporary change in the shortterm initiatives and goals of transitioning to a circular economy. Apart from this, it is likely to put pressure on the plastic manufacturing chain.
Key Market Trends
PET Holds a Significant Market Share
Plastic packaging is becoming popular among consumers over other products as a plastic package is light in weight and is easier to handle. Similarly, even the major manufacturers prefer to use plastic packaging solutions, owing to their lower cost of production. Adoption of PET can lead to up to 90% weight reduction compared to glass, allowing a more economical transportation process. Currently, plastic bottles made from PET are widely replacing the heavy and fragile glass bottles, as they offer reusable packaging for mineral water and other beverages.
According to the International Bottled Water Association, bottled water is the most consumed beverage product in the United States (by volume). According to a report of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in the United States, the average sales of bottled water amount to USD 18.5 billion, with an increase of 8.8%. The per capita consumption exceeds 42 gallons of bottled water, with an increase of 6.2%. With this rising trend likely to continue, it is set to propel the demand for PET in bottled water packaging.
The food and beverage segment, on the other hand, is the largest source of demand for PET packaging products. According to the British Plastic Federation (BPF), over 70% of the soft drinks in the global market are packaged in PET plastic bottles. In contrast, only 30% of them get packed across other variety of packaging materials, such as glass bottles, metal cans, and paperbased cartons.
In 2020, transparency in food packaging has been trending. Going beyond just the listed ingredients on the label, consumers also want to see the physical product before purchase. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are taking over for glass in the singleserve ketchup, condiments, and barbecue sauce markets. Many companies are choosing bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), as PET is as clear as glass and less likely to break.
Further, in the beverage industry, the adoption of recyclable PET (rPET) witnessed a tremendous increase, owing to the sustainable packaging policies of major beverage companies, such as Coca Cola and PepsiCo. In July 2019, Coca Cola announced that GlacéauSmartwater, Honest Tea, and Chaudfontaine brands, as well as HBC water (Swiss marketed product), will be bottled in recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).
Moreover, other industry players are also investing more in new technologies that will enable the circularity of unrecyclable PET plastic waste. For instance, in October 2019, BP PLC, which is a significant player in the oil and gas industry, developed an innovative enhanced recycling technology. The technology is capable of processing PET plastic waste, which currently goes unrecycled. The company plans to complete the pilot plant in the United States by 2020. On a major scale, the technology may offer the potential to convert billions of colored PET bottles and food trays from landfill and incineration.
Further, strategic partnerships are also driving the growth of the PET bottles and containers market. For instance, in October 2019, Austrian recycling machine maker Erema Group GmbH partnered with Italian stretch blowing molding machine maker Sipa SpA to develop a way to usefully recycle PET flake to produce preforms approved for food contact.
Asia Pacific to Witness Significant Growth
AsiaPacific is anticipated to gain the fastest growth owing to the presence of two highly populated countries, i.e., China and India. In these countries, the increase in disposable income will act as a supplement for the growth of industries such as food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, pet food, and cosmetics, which in return will help in flourishing the plastic bottles and containers market.
With the rapidly growing Chinese economy, there has been an increase in consumer spending on personal and homecare products, such as perfumes and cosmetics. According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, the retail sales of cosmetics totaled CNY 27.96 billion in December 2019, as compared to CNY 24.72 billion in December 2018. Hence, there is a growth opportunity for domestic players, as they may experience an increase in demand for plastic bottles and containers in the cosmetic industry.
Further, Japan has one of the fastestgrowing pharmaceutical industries after the United States and is constantly focusing on strong innovation and patented drugs. The Government of Japan is also contributing toward this growth through deregulations for international companies to invest, thereby driving the pharmaceutical market in the country.
Furthermore, India is also expected to witness a rise in plastic packaging used in the food and beverage industry, especially with the recent nationwide lockdown, which is increasing the need for more longterm food storage. Furthermore, in November 2019, a new report on plastic waste and recycling plastic that was commissioned by CocaCola pushed the food and beverages firms, especially in the ASEAN beverage industry, mainly to look at setting up nonprofit facilities primarily focusing on PET recycling as a means with significant potential of solving the region’s plastic waste crisis.
Moreover, Asia is becoming a crucial region for sustainability discussions, primarily because the consumer base is rapidly growing, and with it the demand for packaging. Cargill’s popular edible oil brands in India, Gemini, Sweekar, and NatureFresh have cut approximately 25% of the plastic used for select packages, thereby eliminating 562,000 lb of plastic usage in the packaging in 2018.
Additionally, the company is also cutting down on the amount of raw plastic that it uses across all of its platforms and products. For example, Cargill worked with Dow Chemical to reformulate the plastic material, making 90% of its plastic packaging recyclable. The company has also set a goal of using 100% recyclable packaging for Gemini, Sweekar, and NatureFresh brands by the end of 2020.
The plastic bottles and containers market is fragmented in nature. Some of the major players are ALPLA, Amcor plc, BERICAP GmbH & Co. KG, Graham Packaging Company, and Plastipak Holdings Inc., among others. Factors, such as the increasing demand for food and beverages will provide considerable growth opportunities in the plastic bottles market. Therefore, many companies are seeing this market as an emerging market. Some of the recent developments are:
March 2020 ALPLA developed a 1liter reusable PET bottle together with KHS, the specialist for bottling and packaging systems. The refillable bottle weighs up to ten grams less than the standard bottles that are currently available and can include recycled materials.
February 2020 Amcor PLC, in the multivitamin category, showcased the development and launch of the PET container that is made from the 100% postconsumer recycled content (PCR) resin. The company developed the new, clear bottle in two sizes which are 100 cubic centimeters and 150 cubic centimeters, for Ritual, a health meets technology company that reimagined the multivitamin.
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