The outlook for recyclable packaging materials

New report examines four factors driving the increased global demand for recyclable packaging materials.

Pw 183114 Illustration

In its latest report, “Global Recyclable Packaging Materials Market 2016-2020,” Technavio forecasts the global recyclable packaging materials market to grow at a CAGR of over 7% through 2020. The report segments the market on the basis of types of materials, end users, and geography. The report also presents the vendor landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the top five vendors operating in the market.

In the report, Technavio transportation and logistics analysts highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global recyclable packaging materials market:

  • Standardized industry norms
  • Increased demand from the food and beverage industry
  • Growth in the organized retail sector
  • Increased demand from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region

Standardized industry norms

According to Sharan Raj, a lead analyst at Technavio for packaging research, “The global recyclable packaging materials market is witnessing the standardization of rules, regulations, and methods relating to the manufacture of sustainable green packaging.” Currently, retailers and manufacturers follow varied international standards; however, common measures and standards for manufacturers are being implemented globally.

In addition, the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has implemented standards with respect to reusing, recycling, energy recycling, chemical recovery, and organic recovery activities. For example, ISO 18603:2013 lists the pre-qualifying criteria for packaging to be categorized as reusable and sets out assessment techniques for meeting these requirements.

Increased demand from food and beverage industry

The food and beverage industry is the largest consumer of recyclable packaging materials and contributes a large share to the global recyclable packaging materials market. Food and beverage manufacturers demand eco-efficient packaging materials that can preserve food and maintain its nutritional value.

Companies like Cadbury, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, Nestlé, and Pepsico use sustainable packaging materials, including plastics and metals, which gives them a competitive advantage over other market players. The food and beverage industry in the U.S. has planned to eliminate 4 billion pounds of packaging waste between 2005 and 2020.

“Improving economic conditions in many developed countries along with the rise in disposable income of consumers in developing countries such as China, India, and Saudi Arabia has led to an increase in demand for packaged and processed foods, which augurs well for the market,” says Sharan.

Growth in the organized retail sector

Growth in the organized retail sector has led to the rise of numerous supermarket and hypermarket chains. An increasing number of consumers in emerging markets such as India and China are purchasing grocery items in bulk from organized retail stores due to incentives such as discounts and promotions. This has led to an increase in demand for food and beverage products, which in turn has led to an increase in the demand for recycled packaging materials. This demand is expected to increase further during the forecast period. Therefore, the growth of the organized retail sector has propelled the growth of the recyclable packaging materials market.

Increased demand from APAC

APAC sees a huge demand for dairy packaging. In 2013, the market witnessed the highest growth in terms of volume in the dairy sector with a sales volume of 465 billion units.

The dairy sector is expected to witness a rapid surge in liquid carton and rigid packaging by 2017. The growth will be mainly in the brick liquid cartons segment for flavored milk drinks packaging and in the plastic containers segment for yogurt packaging. This trend is set to continue during the forecast period, which is indicative of the growing purchasing power and changing tastes of consumers in this region. This will fuel the demand for the recyclable packaging materials market during the forecast period.

More in Sustainability