Sustainability a lead consideration as $193.2 billion world rigid plastic packaging market
05 April 2021: Global demand for PET and other rigid plastic packaging formats will accelerate through the second half of 2021, according to market analysis by Smithers.
As detailed in its brand new report – The Future of Rigid Plastic Packaging to 2026 – consuming 58.83 million tonnes in 2020, there was only a marginal increase in demand in a year severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Total value in this market will reach $193.2 billion in 2021, up from the $181.9 billion seen in 2020 – a 6.2% increase – as the virus threat recedes and normal economic and retail activity resumes.
Beyond 2021 a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2% will push the global market to $237.1 billion in 2026 with Asia leading the rise in consumption. Total volume consumption worldwide will rise by 3.5% across 2021-2026 to reach 73.1 million tonnes.
There are also moves to adapt better mechanical recycling of other common rigid plastic grades, such as polypropylene (PP), as well as developing new chemical recycling platforms and biopolymer materials. There is also renewed R&D spending for developing superior barrier coating technologies to improve shelf life and widen the applications open to rigid plastic. This will be an important potential differentiator, as plastic packaging faces competition from a new generation of fibre-based designs, developed and marketed on their green credentials.
The end-use sectors worst affected in 2020 were cosmetics and industrial goods, while use in food packaging remained steady, and there was an inevitable surge for pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Across 2021-2026 use in food and drink use applications will continue to be central to the industry, along with enduring elevated use with healthcare products, and a return of demand for cosmetics formats.