Reusable, Degradable Packaging Increases Projected by Freedonia

Demand for recycled content, reusable and degradable packaging is projected to increase 3.9 percent yearly to $41.7 billion in 2014, consuming 58 billion pounds of material, according to a new Freedonia report. Green Packaging to 2014 states that growth  will outpace overall packaging demand but will remain relatively moderate due to the maturity of many products and the large existing presence of recycled content packaging in paperboard and metal packaging. Green packaging has grown in importance among packaging suppliers and their customers in recent years due to increased energy and transportation costs; growing interest in environmental issues; and initiatives by major retailers to make procurement decisions based on the eco-friendly properties of suppliers’ packaging and cost reductions achievable through packaging improvements.

Reusable packaging demand is expected to post above-average growth through 2014, improving from the 2004-2009 pace based on a rebound in manufacturing activity from a weak base in 2009. Demand for reusable plastic containers and intermediate bulk containers will benefit from an upswing in manufacturing activity and inroads into lower capacity packaging types such as drums, pails and shipping sacks. The fastest segment growth will be in degradable packaging, forecast to expand at a double-digit annual rate through 2014, driven by price competitiveness with conventional resins, capacity expansions and rising demand for environmentally friendly manufactured goods. Recycled content packaging constitutes the vast majority of green packaging and demand is forecast to increase at an annual rate slightly below that of the industry as a whole through 2014. Gains will be supported by increased collection activity and processing capacity, coupled with greater use of recycled content packaging by firms seeking to demonstrate environmental responsibility and differentiate their products. Robust growth is anticipated for plastic recycled content packaging based on more concerted collection efforts and expanded processing capacity, especially for food-contact approved resin grades.

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