US plastic converters seek bio-based polymers

30 March 2012 08:00  [Source: ICIS news]

ARLINGTON (ICIS)--Plastic converters in the US are seeking renewable bio-based polymers in response to their customers’ demand for sustainable materials, industry officials said late on Thursday.

The US flexible packaging market is estimated at $26bn (€19.5bn) last year and global demand for sustainable packaging is projected to rise by 6% per year to $212bn in 2015, said James Taylor, manager of business development and sustainability at US-based plastic converter PrintPack.

Taylor was speaking at the BIOPLASTEK conference held in Arlington, Virginia.

“Packaging is expected to be the largest end-use application for bioplastics. It will account for 60% of global bioplastics consumption this year,” Taylor said. 

The trend towards greater use of lower-cost, lighter and less bulky packaging favours flexible packaging over rigid plastics, he added.

The major polymers used in flexible packaging includes polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polyester and polystyrene.

In the US, there are about 407 companies within the flexible packaging industry.

According to Printpack, the top 10 US converters in the US include Bernis, Sealed Air, Printpack, Berry Plastics, Sigma Plastics Group, Exopack, Graphic Package International, Hilex, Packaging Dynamis and Pregis.

“The average flexible packaging converter is a small-to-medium size company with annual sales totaling $60-65m,” Taylor said.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Doris de Guzman
+1 713 525 2653

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