A study by The Fredonia Group, Inc., a leading international business research company, has found that the demand for green packaging is projected to increase 3.9% yearly to $41.7 billion in 2014.
Green packaging is defined as packaging that comprises recycled content, or reusable or degradable packaging. By 2014, it is estimated that green packaging will consume 58 billion pounds of material. The study adds that growth will outpace overall packaging demand but will remain relatively moderate due to the maturity of many products and the large existing presence of recycled-content packaging in paperboard and metal packaging. The fastest gains are anticipated for degradable packaging and plastic recycled-content packaging.
Legislative bans on polystyrene foam foodservice disposables is a factor driving industry toward environmentally-friendly packaging such as degradable packaging, which is expected to rise 13.6% annually to $685 million in 2014. Degradable packaging is gaining market shares because of price competitiveness with conventional resins, capacity expansions, and enhanced performance properties resulting from blending and other modifications.
The study also found that the largest sector of green packaging is comprised of packaging made with recycled content. The forecast for demand is an increase of 3.6% annually to $37.3 billion in 2014. With the increase in recycling efforts by cities and towns across the country, recycled content packaging is seeing robust growth.
Demand for reusable packaging is also expected to show above average growth through 2014 due to an upswing in manufacturing activity that will lead to progress in using reusable plastic containers, intermediate bulk containers, and lower capacity packaging types such as drums, pails, and shipping sacks.