GLOBAL MARKET OUTLOOK FOR PLASTIC FILMS
SPE SOCIETY OF PLASTICS ENGINEERS EUROPE
CONFERENCE ON ADVANCES IN EXTRUSION TECHNOLOGY
OCTOBER 29, 2007, K’2007, DÜSSELDORF
Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing
Plastics films are used in the broadest range of end-uses and activities. The largest industrial use of plastics films is in packaging, and in decreasing order from the more commodity to more specialty, building construction, agriculture, consumer goods, automobile, medical and hygiene, electrical/electronics and many other industries of lesser volume importance.
Packaging demand for films, present and future, is to continue being fuelled by the already strong base in the rich countries, the fast developing “rest of the world”, the growing preference for flexible packaging over rigid, with sachets, pouches, and stand-up flexible presentations, and the constant innovations and launching of new and clever materials and solutions. Films certainly are the most alive activity in the plastics industry.
In general, for most films, the main end-using industry is packaging. However, the other end-uses may be quite important for some films, like magnetics, optics, telectronics for PET, consumer goods, medical for PVC, automobile and construction for PVB (Table 4).
Altogether, the very market for packaging, the food and drink volume is not to grow much in volume terms, in the richer countries, where the average food intake is already too much. Among the dire forecasts, some will say: "The future of packaging? People should cut their average food and drink intake by at least 30 % to stay in good health! “
But there is a silver lining. Packaging industries and package value will continue growing, because of more sophisticated packages, and higher value. This is where the new materials come in.
More and more, plastics are becoming the one and only packaging material. Plastics packaging must be able to comply with a very broad range of expectations, sometimes contradictory. They must be well adapted to the contents, made with the greatest variety of shapes, designs, colors, prints, safe, non toxic, clean, economical, pleasant to see, touch, and even hear, resisting to extremes in temperature from sterilization, freezing, cooking, barrier to gases, water and aromas, easy to open, to use, to close back, friendly to the environment, and finally disposable without a second thought. Plastics films are the best answer.
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