The packaging consultancy says global consumption of PET packaging will grow to almost 19.1 million tonnes by 2017. Driven mainly by increasing demand in emerging and transitional economies, the market will grow 5.2% per annum with a focus on Asia Pacific, South & Central America, Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa. Barrier PET bottles and jars for juices, milk, teas, beer, wine and food, are forecast to register strong growth over the period 2012-17.
The Future of Global PET Packaging to 2017 report says the developing countries of Asia Pacific, South America and Central & Eastern Europe will show higher growth for PET packaging as a result of growing real incomes and the replacement of traditional pack formats by PET bottles.
Asia Pacific overtook both North America and Western Europe during the period 2007-12 to become the largest regional market for PET packaging. Asia Pacific accounts for a projected 29.4% of world PET packaging consumption in 2012, followed by North America with 24.1% and Western Europe with 19.7%.
PET recycling is another key issue for players along the PET supply chain due to growing consumer concern for the impact of PET bottles on the environment.
While the use of rPET is on the rise, there is still some uncertainty whether the uptake of rPET for bottle production will become widespread. The uptake of rPET for bottle content will depend very much on whether rPET costs less than virgin material.
In addition, while there is strong demand for recycled PET, there remains a problem with raw material supply and an infrastructure that is not expanding quickly enough to collect the material the industry needs. There are also some concerns that the quality of supply can have a negative impact on the rPET sector.
Whilst many consumers are less keen on PET the continuing growth of the material seems inevitable. In the UK Dairy Crest has said it is to close two glass and polybottle dairies due to customers increasingly opting for milk in plastic bottles. One of the key challenges for brands trying to gain consumer acceptance of PET is to improve the image of the material so that it is on a par with metal and glass packaging.