Global functional additive and barrier coating sales for plastic packaging at current prices grew during 2017–21 from $3.2 billion to $3.8 billion. For 2022, sales at constant (2021) prices are projected at $4.0 billion and are forecast to grow during 2022–27 at an annual average rate of 5.1% to just over $5.1 billion.
A functional additive modifies the properties of packaging to impart desirable or beneficial functions. Many additive types are used for plastic packaging, including anti-static agents, heat stabilisers, UV light stabilisers, impact modifiers, clarifying agents, blowing agents, brightness agents, impact modifiers, antioxidants, antimicrobial agents, oxygen scavengers, anti-block agents and various other processing aids. While barrier properties are important for any packaging products that have perishable contents. This report covers technologies to control the permeation of gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, and vapours (e.g. water vapour, aromas and flavours) through packaging polymers.
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There is increasing demand for packaging materials that give greater protection to their contents. This is especially noticeable in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. As plastics have become more ubiquitous, concerns have arisen about their ability to allow the exchange of gases and vapours that can compromise the quality and safety of packaged products. Without barrier packaging, perishable goods such as food, beverages and pharmaceuticals would be susceptible to a wide range of deterioration processes.
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The Smithers methodology
- Functional additives are expected to grow at a slightly higher rate than barrier coatings over the forecast period. PVdC and metallised coatings, two of the largest barrier coatings, are very mature product types and are growing at a relatively slow rate.
- Demand for functional additives such as oxygen scavengers, UV stabilisers and clarifying agents is growing faster as these functional additive products are less mature, are well positioned in faster-growing markets, including convenience foods and beverages.
This report is based on extensive primary and secondary research. Primary research consisted of targeted interviews with material suppliers, converters and experts drawn from key markets. This was supported by secondary research in the form of extensive literature analysis of published data, official government statistics, domestic and international trade organisation data, company websites, industry reports, trade press articles, presentations, and attendance at trade events.
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About the author
- Materials suppliers
- Plastic packaging manufacturers
- Additive suppliers
- Coating suppliers
David Platt is a freelance business consultant and writer with experience in the plastics and packaging industry. He has participated in various consultancy projects for Smithers and has authored over fifty market reports since 2005, these include Global Packaging and Rigid Plastic Packaging. David has also authored two books; ‘Biodegradable Plastics’ and ‘High-performance and Engineering Plastics’, and writes a regular feature for Plastics News Europe. He is MBA qualified and has a degree in Economics.