Returnable packaging market worth USD 40 billion

returnable packaging market


Returnable packaging is a packaging solution used when the transit is collected and sent back to the distribution point for further use. It consists of handheld containers, dunnage, racks, reusable pallets, and bulk containers that are efficiently and safely transported throughout the supply chain.

In 2019, the total market value for the returnable packaging market is estimated to be around USD 40.1 billion and is expected to witness a steady growth rate in the next five years.

The increased demand for consumer durables, awareness of buyers regarding sustainable packaging, the growing automotive industry, and the urgency for product safety and differentiation have resulted in an upward surge since 2000, in the returnable packaging market. The global returnable packaging market is expected to register a growth rate of 6.22% by 2023. The European region is projected to be the largest market for returnable packaging. The demand for bulk transportation of goods and the rising awareness related to reduced wastage due to packaging drive the returnable packaging market in Europe. However, the Asia Pacific region is projected to be the fastest-growing market. The demand for these packaging solutions in the Asia Pacific region has increased due to cost savings, partial sustainability, and demand for product safety from highly populated countries such as India and China.


Returnable packaging systems are made up of durable materials such as plastic, wood, glass, foams, and metals. Low packaging costs, rapid return on investments, organized distribution process, and reduced environmental impact collectively push the demand for returnable packaging solutions at a global level. On the other hand, high investment costs, the threat of loss or theft, and additional warehousing expenses inhibit the growth of the returnable packaging market.

Various market trends impact the returnable packaging market, which leads to an increase in the demand for these packaging solutions in the global market. The use of biodegradable alternatives for reusable packaging solutions is one of them. With the use of reusable packaging materials, end-users generate 95% less solid waste and 25% fewer greenhouse gases, if compared to the traditional form of packaging solutions. Reusables help end-users to achieve zero solid waste targets. Brand owners utilize returnable packaging labels to highlight to the consumers that reusable packaging is a step toward sustainability and does not add to the landfills.
Diversified end-use industries such as food & beverage, automotive, consumer durables, and healthcare all make use of reusable packaging systems. Returnable containers are widely used by automotive manufacturers to ship the components’ parts to component suppliers and further to the assembly plants for assembling purpose.

The overall automotive industry contributes the largest share in the global returnable packaging market, whereas the food & beverage industry is estimated to be the fastest-growing.
Wooden-case and plastic-corrugated boxes are mostly preferred in the automotive industry to store and transport products. Also, plastic drums are preferred to store oils and lubricants in automotive industry applications. Several automotive OEMs deploy returnable packaging systems to enhance the efficiency of their operations through the reduction of lead time. Returnable packaging mainly comprises plastics and steel in the automotive industry, as it offers durability and tamper resistance.

Returnable packaging is a perfect solution to achieve less waste and fewer greenhouse gases. It will continue to replace traditional packaging methods in the coming future.

For more information, follow this link to find out more about the reusable packaging market.

Source: MarketsandMarkets

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