Sustainability goals are reshaping Europe’s blowmolded-bottle market
Blowmolded bottle demand in Europe was 189 billon units in 2017, up from 176 billion in 2013, with the fastest growing market segments being sweet and savory spreads and non-carbonated water. The outlook for the blowmolded bottle market remains positive, with demand for added-value products and the use of recyclates shaping the landscape and promoting further growth. This is according to a newly published report from industry consultants, AMI Consulting (Bristol, UK), Blow Molded Bottles—the European Market.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important and has been incorporated in the agenda of all significant brand owners and their suppliers. Most have established long-term sustainability targets, detailing ways to reduce, reuse and recycle the packaging. Emphasis on packaging weight reduction is adversely affecting polymer demand; at the same time, it drives the development of materials and technologies that improve performance.
The use of PET and HDPE recyclates has been steadily gaining in importance and will now accelerate, said AMI. Recyclate growth will be driven by the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan and the commitment of major brand owners to increasing the recycled content in their packaging to 25% or more by 2025. Growth in the use of recyclates will require a balance between financial and environmental considerations, and meeting industry targets will require the development of a new supply chain and investment in closed-loop recycling and sorting technology.
As price pressures increase, the supply chain is forced toward maximizing operational efficiency and minimizing costs. Brand owners are reducing the role of the converter by increasingly controlling polymer procurement, gaining competence in blowmolding and injection molding, and achieving cost transparency. As value-capture decreases, converters are becoming specialists and reducing costs by operating fewer sites. Several players have focused their development efforts on their preform business, looking at how to add value, for example, by focusing on barrier technology.
Ten groups control 28% of volume throughput, which makes the European blowmolded bottles market highly fragmented. Europe’s largest producers include Alpla, Logoplaste, Plastipak, RPC and Serioplast.
AMI Consulting forecasts that demand overall will reach 203 billion units by 2022—a CAGR of 1.4% from 2017 to 2022—but growth in some segments will be well above average.