The European Plastic Packaging Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% over the forecast period (2022-2027). The increasing technological advancements and end-user industry packaging applications are the significant factors driving the growth of the market studied.
- In most European countries, the population is growing and the use of packaging per person is increasing. It is due to consumer behavior trends, such as the growth in the use of convenience products, and the increasing use of plastic as a substitute for other packaging materials.
- The demand for plastic packaging continues to rise in Europe even though serious concerns are being raised about its impact on the environment. However, the market also faces challenges due to the government regulations in Europe and increasing consumer demand that pushes manufacturers to look for plastic packaging solutions that are biodegradable or derived from sustainable sources.
- The increasing regulations against the use of plastic in the region are expected to impact the plastic packaging market in Europe. For example, in December 2020, the French Parliament's lower chamber passed legislation prohibiting the use of single-use plastic products and packaging after 2040 and several other measures to increase reuse and recycling. Further, the growing concerns regarding the use of plastics across various end-user industries and among their customers are affecting the use of plastics.
- The European Plastics Converters (EuPC) is composed of 50.000 SMEs, and it is currently working to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus crisis. Industries and authorities are directing their full attention to the management of the crisis, and they have put on hold all inessential activities to concentrate on the health and safety of the European citizens during the next 12 months.
- Production of plastic packaging in the Europe industry decreased more rapidly during the first months of COVID-19 due to the slowdown in our economies. At the same time, the increase in e-commerce during lockdowns has increased the volume of plastics used in e-commerce packaging in the region.
- The ongoing Russia Ukraine war has resulted in the European Nations facing disrupted gas supplies that has increased the concerns regarding the uninterrupted power supply and at a feasible cost. The situation has been further agggrevated with the Europe reeling under the drought situation which is expected to impact the plastic industry as well. Transportaion through inland waterways have reduced that might further lead increased material cost.
Key Market Trends
Flexible Packaging to Grow Significantly
- The retail industry is expanding due to rising demand for packaged food and non-food items across Europe. It creates a one-of-a-kind demand for flexible packaging solutions, which is expected to accelerate the growth of the plastic packaging market significantly.
- Flexible packaging increases product sustainability by increasing shelf life and enabling the introduction of new products, such as frozen food, which can realize through flexible packaging. At the start of the pandemic, food production experienced an unprecedented surge, while some fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers repurposed production lines.
- Various vendors have been focusing on strengthening their position in flexible packaging, broadening their portfolio of sustainable solutions, and expanding their regional reach. In July 2021, ProAmpac acquired Ultimate Packaging, a pioneer in flexographic and digitally-printed flexible packaging based in the United Kingdom, to expand ProAmpac's product portfolio. Ultimate packaging specializes in developing innovative packaging solutions to increase product shelf life, convenience, and recyclability across a range of product sectors. With the acquisition, the company is looking forward to gaining further growth opportunities in the region.
- Furthermore, the COVID-19 restrictions caused panic buying, putting massive pressure on FMCG companies to adopt flexible packaging solutions, as food companies have increasingly seen a preference for pre-packaged food in smaller, consumer-sized packaging.
Beverage Segment is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- The beverage industry plays an essential role in the European region. The primary factors driving the beverage industry's growth in the region include steadily increasing population, per capita income, and changing lifestyles. Furthermore, factors such as high disposable income, ease of availability, improved living standards, a diverse product offering, and the presence of domestic and international players in the market fuel the beverage industry in the region.
- According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, with the temporarily cut in the value-added tax rates, the aggregate consumer spending in Germany rose by Euro 34 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Many of the leading brands in Europe have a variety of fruit and sweet-flavored non-alcoholic beverages, and these are the most popular products. Besides, the EMA has introduced an initiative encouraging manufacturers to cut salt, sugar, and fat content in food and beverages. Companies that have pledged to follow this include Mars and Nestle.
- Moreover, the companies are investing in beverage manufacturing capacity expansion. For instance, in May 2022, Ecotone, a specialized player in organic and plant-based alternatives in Europe, announced a Euro 20 million investment in its plant-based beverage production site located in Badia Polesine, Northern Italy. The major investment has enabled the creation of a new production line, making it one of the key players in European plant-based drinks producers. This new site and production line will allow the multinational food company to produce an additional 27 million liters of plant-based beverages per year, a 30% increase in production capacity.
The Europe Plastic Packaging Market is fragmented, owing to the presence of multiple players in the market. The major players adopting strategies, like product innovation, mergers and acquisitions, and expansion, in order to stay competitive in the region. Some of the major players in the market are Amcor PLC, Sealed Air Corporation, RPC Group Limited, among others.
- August 2021 - Huhtamaki Oyj entered into an agreement to acquire Elif, a major supplier of flexible packaging, for Euro 412 million. With this acquisition, the company hopes to reinforce its position as a leading flexible packaging company and strengthen its existing flexible packaging business in consumer product categories with sustainability goals. Huhtamaki also expands its flexible packaging manufacturing footprint into Turkey, one of the top future growth countries.
- April 2021 - DS Smith, a UK-based packaging company, announced an investment of GBP 16.7 million for the expansion and modernization of its site in Germany located in Arnstadt of Thuringia. With this investment, the company is expanding its offering for its customers in the e-commerce and fast-moving consumer goods sectors.
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