As reported by a recent Future Market Insights study, flexible plastic packaging consumption will equate a valuation of over US$ 85 billion in 2019. Sales of bags and sacks, notably in the retail sector, currently accounts for over a third of market share. While flat pouches remain preferred over stand-up pouches, the report projects growing adoption of the latter in the future.
Cost competitiveness of flexible plastic packaging is primarily driving adoption. In addition to the ability of flexible plastic packaging to extend product’s shelf-life, it significantly accounts for overall packaging downsizing, which is another strong demand determinant favoring the growth of flexible packaging market. While adoption of flexible plastic packaging has been pervasive across multiple end-use verticals over the recent past, manufacturing activities are more likely to be instrumental in creating room for the growth of flexible plastic packaging landscape.
Cutting-edge technology enabled smart packaging formats such as vacuum skin packaging (VSP) and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) are gradually rising on the back of conventional general barrier technology.
A majority of flexible plastic packaging consumption remains concentrated among FMCG companies. The report has estimated gradually increasing adoption of flexible plastic packaging technologies and formats across the industrial sectors over the course of coming years. A healthy Y-o-Y growth is slated for the market in industrial packaging applications, in 2019 and ahead.
Proven to have the highest sustainability benefit over any other forms of flexible packaging materials, flexible plastic packaging has already taken over its rigid counterparts. Owing to light weight and excellent ability to provide in-transit protection to products, flexible plastic packaging remains the most favored sustainable choice. However, in an effort to effectively address the challenge posed by its end-of-life stage, material recovery facilities are focusing on recycling and conversion to either new packaging formats, or a host of other products such as durable goods, fuel, composite lumber, and feedstock for manufacturing.
On a similar line, the demand for bioplastics is thriving at a robust rate. The report finds higher consumption of polylactic acid (PLA) over other materials, among bio-based flexible plastic packaging manufacturers. Research also points to significant demand growth for Bio-PE (polyethylene)-based flexible plastic packaging in recent years. Consumption of oil-based polymers, especially PE, still maintains the highest value share in market. Mondi Group announced the partnership with Nespresso Austria over the development of bio-based flexible plastic packaging. A fully degradable and compostable recycling bags are currently assisting capsules recycling across Austria.
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