The global market for plastic film will see the demand reach 71 million metric tons by 2020 because of the wide variety of possible applications, according to market research company Ceresana Research.
The market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 3.7 percent as demand for plastic films continues to rise.
"Among others, this is due to advantages plastic films offer when compared to flexible packaging made from other materials (such as paper or aluminum foil)," says the report. "This effect is felt in the foodstuffs sector in particular, but can also be observed in non-food applications."
The global trend for more convenience foods also works in plastics' favor.
Ceresana says the market will diversify over the same time frame. Films based on polyethylene —- LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE — currently account for 73 percent of the market but BOPP and PET films are growing in popularity. This is because of their use in high-quality packaging, according to Konstanz, Germany-based Ceresana.
However, the global market will experience distinct regional differences, thanks to the discrepancy between saturated industrial markets and emerging countries.
Asia-Pacific, South America, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe will show the most dynamic growth and China and India will together account for a third of the market.