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2.8% growth seen for plastic containers

U.S. demand for plastic containers is growing 2.8% annually and will reach 7.3 billion lb in 1998. So says a study, released in October, by The Freedonia Group of Cleveland, OH.

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The study also shows that the 2.8% growth rate for 1993-98 is significantly less than the 6.0% rate logged each year for the previous decade. Slower than historic growth is anticipated because of the already high penetration of high-volume, easily converted markets. The market for polyethylene terephthalate is predicted to enjoy the best growth, over 4% annually, due to its clarity, high barrier properties, approved status for food applications by the FDA, and advances such as improved impact strength and technology allowing handled bottles to be blown. Customers requiring plastic bottles, regardless of the resin, will assume increasing influence on the design, production and overall level of innovation required on the part of bottle producers. Also, says the study, demands for consumer convenience coupled with the continued growth in the number of microwave ovens in the home will lead to advances in dual-ovenable trays, particularly for crystallized polyethylene terephthalate. The complete 202-page study-which covers various resins, types of containers and end-use markets as well-is available for $2꽤 from The Freedonia Group, 216/921-5459 (phone).

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