New Tool: ProSource
Check out our packaging and processing solutions finder, ProSource.

Foams market faces rising costs and environmental regulations

If your company uses polymer foams in the packaging process, you might want to consider the challenges facing foam suppliers, as described in a recent Frost & Sullivan study on European markets for polymer foams.

ā€¢ ā€œThe skyrocketing prices of crude oil and its derivatives has affected almost all manufacturers of organic chemicals, including foam suppliers.ā€ This has caused price increases and diminishing margins.

ā€¢ ā€œCompounding this challenge is that most end users, particularly those in the commodity segments of comfort and packaging applications, are extremely cost conscious and unwilling to absorb these price increases.

ā€¢ ā€œWith many companies now relocating manufacturing bases to eastern European countries offering cheaper labor, many polymer foam suppliersā€”especially those catering to endā€”user markets such as expandable polystyrene (EPS) in packagingā€”will see an erosion in their customer base.

ā€¢ ā€œWith environmental regulations becoming stricter, companies will also need to look into improving the public perception of polymer foams. The public still considers polymer foams as harmful to the environment. Although many manufacturers have moved to environmentally friendly blowing agents, this has adversely affected the process economics as the alternatives come at a high cost.ā€

Frost & Sullivanā€™s research covers polyurethanes, EPS, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefins, and phenolic foams. For more information, e-mail Katja Feick at [email protected], or call 011/44.20.7915.7856.

See the main story that goes with this sidebar: Snack cake cartons get quarter-century face-lift

Discover Our Content Hub
Access Packaging World's free educational content library!
Read More
Discover Our Content Hub
New ebook focused on cartoning equipment
Read about the various types of cartoning equipment, how to select the right one, and common pitfalls to avoid. Plus, read equipment advice from CPGs for ultimate cartoning success.
Read More
New ebook focused on cartoning equipment