Smithers expect USD 55.7 billion growth in mono-material flexible plastic packaging

Smithers expect USD 55.7 billion growth in mono-material flexible plastic packaging

Global flexible mono-material plastic packaging film is projected to be worth USD 55.7-bn in 2023, and it will grow at a steady 4.1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), globally. The volume demand for multi-material packaging will increase at a 3.6% CAGR, driving consumption from 10.4-mn tonnes to 12.4-mn tonnes, during 2023-2028.

The principal technical challenges are to match the barrier performance and heat sealing of established multi-layer designs, delivering comparable shelf-life and protecting against spoilage. Out of 11 end-use applications examined in Smithers’ analysis, pharmaceuticals, personal care, and fresh food are forecast to see the highest gains for mono-materials over the next five years.

Multiple manufacturers have successfully introduced high barrier mono-material packaging substrates. These have already achieved good traction in dehydrated foods, detergents and dry pet food; barrier performance. However, liquid foods need refinement for penetration.

Polypropylene (PP) is the one-of-the-largest plastic type used for mono-material plastic polymer film, followed by polyethylene (PE). PVC and regenerated cellulose fibre (RCF) each account for very low market shares. PP mono-material packaging films are forecast to grow at the fastest rate, ahead of PE. One major advantage of PP is that it can be laminated with a PE film, and still be accepted as recyclable; as both are polyolefins.

This is manifesting in multiple new designs for recycling initiatives. The ultimate goal is to create a circular economy for flexible plastics, with discarded pouches, sachets and films creating the feedstock for a new generation of packaging.

The report combines expert technical analysis with exclusive market data forecasts, by value and volume. It provides insight to mono-material polymer type (PE, PP, PVC, RCF); end-use application (fresh food, frozen food, savoury and more); and geographic region and national market.


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