LDPE to remain ahead compared to other materials for plastic films in US

By 2012, demand for plastic film in the US is projected to up 2.8% annually to 17 bln pounds in 2012, worth US$14 bln (resin cost only). Low density polyethylene (LDPE) will remain the leading film, accounting for 75% of the total in 2012. Owing to a competitive cost structure, versatility and opportunities in areas such as produce and snack packaging, stretch and shrink wrap, and trash bags; demand for LDPE film will increase roughly 3% p.a. to 11.3 bln pounds in 2011. Meanwhile, HDPE films will relatively slower advances in US with good growth anticipated in areas such as baked goods packaging and retail bags while PP film demand is expected to rise by 3.4% p.a. to 1.5 bln pounds in 2012, driven by produce, grain mill, dairy product and other food packaging applications. PVC film demand is expected to grow at a subdued pace due to slow red meat consumption and competition from polyolefin films while Polyester film demand will continue to decline as a result of diminished use in photographic film and magnetic tape brought about by the continued inroads made by digital cameras, CDs and DVDs. In 2007, more than 75% of the plastic films in the US were used in packaging applications. This can be attributed to the cost, convenience and source reduction advantages over other materials. The rapid growth is anticipated in secondary packaging uses due to opportunities in areas such as stretch and shrink wrap, and retail bags while food packaging will rise at a near average pace, driven by continued expansion in produce, confections and frozen food segments.
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