Packaging – Major Trends in Packaging Materials

Growing competition put pressure on packaging prices. Smaller households require smaller pack sizes, while busier lifestyles pose a need for convenience and quality to be always united. Along with this, environmental footprint is highly monitored and represents a key factor for packaging innovation. The complexity of all these requirements boosted the global packaging machinery market in 2013, to reach USD 54bn.

Globally, traditional packaging materials such as paper, metal and glass are losing their attractiveness primarily due to high price and in some cases limited functionality. In 2013, paper-based containers amounted to 15% of total packaging materials’ volume in the world, while the main paper packaging purpose was food and tobacco packaging. At the same time, metal and glass packaging materials amounted to 9% and 8% of total packaging volume respectively. The popularity of metal and glass packaging was maintained mainly by premium products. On the other hand, packaging of mass consumption goods dwindled towards rigid plastic and flexible packaging alternatives due to lower prices.

Rigid plastic packaging growing in popularity
The global packaging materials market was dominated by flexible packaging; however, rigid plastic saw higher growth over 2008-2013. This was mainly due to growing environmental awareness and easier recycling of pure plastic packaging rather than combined flexible packaging. In 2013, rigid plastic materials accounted for 20% of packaging materials...

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