US demand for plastic packaging will continue to outpace paper in competing markets

US demand for plastic packaging will continue to outpace paper in markets where they compete, albeit more slowly as applications mature. The fastest market share increases for plastic will occur in pet food and soy beverage packaging, followed by protective packaging, foodservice and dairy products. Among others Plastic packaging growth, in particular bottles, will outpace the paper equivalent through to 2012 in selected markets, as per a study by Freedonia. Material enhancements that extend shelf life and increase durability, along with reduced material usage and the addition of convenience features such as resealability and steam cooking are estimated to fuel opportunities for plastic packaging. Total demand for paper and plastic in competitive packaging markets is projected to increase 1.3% pa to 26.1 billion lbs in 2012, with plastic packaging forecast to climb 2.4% pa over the next three years.
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