NPE '18: PET demand poised to rise amid packaging trends

Source: ICIS News


ORLANDO (ICIS)--Demand for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is set to rise amidst several emerging packaging trends, Ron Puvak, managing director of the Contract Packaging Association (CPA), told delegates at the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) on Monday.

As a whole, Puvak said, the global packaging industry is projected to grow by 3.5% annually with sales of $997bn in 2020. PET demand, specifically, is expected to increase by 4.6% each year, Puvak said.

Bottled water, which is a $13bn business, will be a major driver of PET demand as health-conscious consumers increasingly reach for it, Puvak noted. Traditional soda brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi will lead the growth as they offer healthier alternatives.

“The plastic water bottle is one of our biggest success stories,” Puvak said.

Health and wellness will be a major driver of packaging trends as consumers and brand owners both prioritise these as goals. Pepsi has listed both health and the environment as major pillars in its 2025 sustainability plan.

Regarding sustainability, the industry has largely addressed using more recyclable materials and becoming more energy efficient. The big move will be toward making renewable-sourced polymers at the same cost of virgin and implementing circular economies, Puvak said.

“Plastic packaging has the unique ability to help with sustainability and health and wellness,” Puvak said.

In the same realm, health concerns and regulations surrounding materials will continue to drive transparency in the supply chain.

Other trends that will drive the packaging industry include marine conservation, private brand growth and e-commerce such as meal kits and online retailers of food like Amazon.

Sponsored by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), NPE2018: The Plastics Show takes place on 7-11 May in Orlando, Florida.