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The global market for sustainable packaging will reach US$142.42 billion by 2015. Stringent regulations and increased awareness of environmental hazards concerning the disposal and recycling of packaging wastes together with government initiatives to minimize greenhouse gas emissions are behind the growth of sustainable packaging.
With environmental concerns gaining prominence globally, the demand for recyclable and safe packaging is increasing. The major trend for packaging companies worldwide is sustainability, relying on materials such as recycled materials and renewable resources.
Innovators are presenting novel packaging designs, with key performance improvements, such as environmental-friendliness, simplicity, material saving, and cost reduction. These are available without detriment to ease of use and convenience.
The sustainable packaging sector is bucking the trend of other packaging sectors with impressive growth during the period 2008-2009, and a degree of immunity to the downturn in the economy. Recycled and reusable materials have been the catalyst for the reduction of costs and packaging waste.
More than 70% of the global market in sustainable packaging is concentrated in Europe and the US, where sustainable packaging is seen as part of the marketing mix. Additionally, sustainable packaging helps companies to comply with the use of environment-friendly materials, and the adoption of methods that require low-energy consumption and diminish harmful environmental impacts. This is a much needed development as countries move toward legislation to compel the minimisation of the environmental impact of packaging.
The fastest growth of the use of green packaging is expected in the Asia-Pacific region with a CAGR in excess of 10% during 2007 through 2015. Here the speed of grow of economies, and huge populations also play a part.
The recycled material is the largest segment of the packaging market, constituting almost 90% of the total demand in the US. The biodegradable sector is the fastest growing sector. Biodegradable materials are readily decomposed by microorganisms, and lessen packaging waste. Demand for bioplastics within green packaging market is increasing.
Major markets using sustainable packaging include cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, food service and shipping markets, and healthcare. In Europe, there were in excess of 600 new beauty products with green packaging credentials were launched in the last two years. While food companies are planning to swap to compostable biopolymer packaging, the medical sector has been slower to adopt sustainable packaging materials. This is due to financial and regulatory concerns, poor recycling infrastructure, and slower demand from the customer.
Leading players in the global sustainable packaging market include Associated Packaging Technologies Inc., Amcor Ltd., Ball Corp., Bemis Company Inc., Biopack Environmental Solutions Inc., Constar International Inc., Crown Holdings Inc., Earthcycle Packaging Ltd., EnviroPAK Corp., E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Company, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Graphic Packaging Holding, Huhtamäki Oyj, Innovia Films Ltd., MeadWestvaco Corp., NatureWorks LLC, Owens-Illinois Inc., Pactiv Corp., Plantic Technologies Ltd., Plastipak Packaging Inc., Printpack Inc., Rexam Plc., Saint-Gobain SA, Sealed Air Corp., Silgan Holdings, Inc.
Author: Lynn Shaw, Analyst
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