The outlook for the plastic packaging industry in 1995 is very favorable, according to industry sources, with at least one new player poised to enter the already-strong PET rigid container market. Ball Corp., based in Muncie, Ind., announced recently it wants to maintain its strength in the glass and metal container market while seeking to buy a major blow molding operation to give it a presence in the PET container market.
The picture for other package end users has been clouded by the extremely tight market for some resins, including recycled high density polyethylene and PET, in recent months.
Procter & Gamble Co., basedin Cincinnati, is reducing the amount of post-consumer HDPE it uses in some products, citing lack of availability of recycled feedstocks. Demand is up as packagers work to ensure that they can comply with new recycling mandates in California and Oregon, and maintain compliance in states such as Florida.
Analysts predict that the coming year will show continued growth in PET usage in packaging, and for plastic packaging in general.
Growth in the use of PET in packaging was predicted to reach double-digit percentages in 1994, with similar expansion expected this year.
On the flexible packaging side, Bret Biggers, director of business and economic research for the Washington-based Flexible Packaging Association, said 1994 was a strong year, and that some further growth is expected in 1995.
``We have seen an estimated growth in the value of shipments of about 4.5 percent over the last two years,'' he said. ``We would hope to see more growth next year.''
He said his data was not complete for 1994, and so projections for 1995 are vague at best.
``We are positive about growth because there are new products coming on line, and the trend of converting from other forms of packaging to flexible is continuing,'' he said. ``Stand-up pouches and innovations in medical packaging are all strong areas of growth.''