New product development stimulates market growth for PET packaging


In 2015, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging amounted to just under 16.7 million tonnes, representing a 3.8% increase on 2014 levels. Going into 2016, growth is projected to reach 4.8%, amounting to 17.5 million tonnes. A strong level of new product developments into under-developed markets such as preserved foods, thermoforming, fruit juice and other functional beverages, are projected to boost the market going forward. In addition, further falls in PET resin prices are also projected to benefit the market.

This is outlined in UK company Smithers Pira new report, The Future of PET Packaging to 2021, which provides market volume and value data by end-use markets and by geographic region/country for the PET packaging market.

Over the next five years, the PET packaging market is forecast to reach 21.1 million tonnes in 2021, registering an average growth rate of 3.8% per annum during the period 2016-21.

“Despite various economic issues in recent years, growth in PET packaging has remained relatively consistent,” said Paul Boyce, author of the report.

“Stronger growth is projected in 2016, with PET gaining traction into relatively new sectors, alongside stronger growth in its core market of bottled water.”

Eastern Europe is forecast to show strong growth following recent political and economic difficulties, particularly in the region’s largest market of Russia. Elsewhere, Western Europe is also forecast for stronger growth as it picks up much of what was lost during the 2012 European crisis, whereby investment had largely been put on hold.

Some of the key trends in the market include continued lightweighting. Whilst bottles have seen continued gains in lightweighting over many years, it has continued to gain traction with some manufacturers reaching less than 8 g for a 500 ml PET water bottle. It is arguable that with such a lightweight product it is unviable to invest in further lightweighting in this area. This may be the case, with some manufacturers concentrating on product stability alongside lightweighting, to find the perfect equilibrium.

Lightweighting has had a negative impact on volume growth of PET packaging in recent years, although growth has still been relatively strong at 4% per annum over the period 2011-15.

There seems to be a focus toward bio-based materials for the production of PET bottles for the large corporations within the refreshments market, this is to help increase the sustainability of the products and to help decrease waste. However, bio-based materials are still not as widely produced and are largely expensive due to the lack of supply.

The Future of PET Packaging to 2021 is based on an extensive programme of primary research including interviews with PET resin suppliers, processors, equipment manufacturers and end users, conversations and correspondence with regulatory and standards bodies, technologists, suppliers and end users. Secondary research into patents, conference papers, specialist journals and Smithers Pira’s extensive database, reports and experts provides actionable information, including projections to 2021.


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