Plastics companies that stagnate and look for easy options will not survive, said Gavin Williams, chief executive officer of the Melbourne-based Packaging Council of Australia. In a report identifying future issues and trends, Williams said ``challenge and change'' will be ``the order of the day.''
``In order to survive and prosper, companies will need to be flexible and adaptable and invest, innovate and develop the appropriate skills base to meet the challenges ahead,'' he said.
The report said plastics packaging has gained market share to be Australia's second-largest packaging material. Paperboard packaging had 36 percent of the market and plastics 30 percent, with flexibles increasing at the expense of rigid plastics. In the early 1960s, plastics had less than 10 percent of the packaging market.
Metal packaging has lost market share in food applications, but still accounts for 20 percent, and glass is 10 percent.
The report found that plastics is the least concentrated packaging material sector and has the lowest barriers to entry. However, consolidation of the plastics industry is likely, Williams said.
Australian companies will face increased pressure from globalization: ``The technological age with all its ramifications has only just begun,'' Williams said. They need to be efficient, adapt to new machinery, ensure that products meet consumer demand and improve logistics to remain internationally competitive, he added.