Technical Papers Plastics
Increasing recognition of eco-friendliness to drive global synthetic paper market to US$342.8 mln by 2020

Increasing recognition of eco-friendliness to drive global synthetic paper market to US$342.8 mln by 2020

Synthetic paper is an eco-friendly substitute to conventional paper as it does not involve deforestation making it a preferred option in current regulatory scenario. In contrast to conventional paper, synthetic paper manufacturing does not involve the emission of toxic gases including carbon dioxide making it an environmentally sustainable product.
From levels of US$212.7 mln in 2013, the global synthetic paper market is expected to reach US$342.8 mln by 2020 at a- CAGR of 7.1% from 2014 to 2020. Increasing awareness regarding eco-friendly nature of synthetic paper to drive market demand, as per Grand View Research, Inc. Some of the highlights include:
* Non-label applications accounted for a significant share of synthetic paper market with estimated demand in excess of 70,000 tons in 2013, owing to superior print properties making them favorable for use in banners, charts, graphic arts and maps. Synthetic paper has distinguished properties such as pilferage resistance and high strength making them ideally suited for novel applications such as blister packaging and folding cartons. Labeling is expected to be the fastest growing synthetic paper market application at a CAGR of over 6.6% from 2014 to 2020. Increased consumption of packaged foods & beverages owing to enhanced lifestyle is expected to augment labelling demand as the food & beverages market is characterized by stringent labelling regulations.
* Demand was 115 kilotons in 2013 and is expected to reach 176.9 kilotons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2014 to 2020.
* BOPP was the largest product segment for synthetic paper owing to properties including superior strength, easy printability, versatility and cost effectiveness. Segment revenue was estimated at over US$120 mln in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2014 to 2020.
* Asia Pacific was the largest regional synthetic paper market with demand estimated at 45,000 tons in 2013 and expected to witness growth at a CAGR of 6.8% from 2014 to 2020. Regional growth can be attributed to increasing end-use industries including cosmetics, chemicals and food & beverage as a result of enhanced lifestyle and increasing disposable income of the working class population.
* Key market participants including Arjobex and Nan Ya Plastic are focusing on new product development as a tool for sustaining competitive advantage. DuPont focuses on green processing alternatives consuming less energy and reducing green house effect. Other key companies in the market include PPG Industries, Yupo Corporation, American Profol and Tagleef Industries.

Transparency Market Research values the global synthetic paper market at US$212.7 mln in 2013, anticipated to reach US$338 mln by 2020, expanding at a CAGR of 7% between 2014 and 2020. In terms of volume, the global synthetic paper market stood at 105.3 kilo tons in 2013. The growing demand for synthetic paper from the tag and label industry is expected to augment its market growth. Physical characteristics such as durability and high tear resistance, along with superior chemical properties, makes synthetic paper ideal for labelling applications over natural paper. In addition, synthetic papers exhibit excellent printing performance that makes them suitable for a wide range of non-labelling applications. Currently, synthetic paper is used to manufacture menu cards, maps and outdoor signs, among others. However, the volatility in raw material prices is expected to restrain the market growth in the future. Synthetic resins are a crucial raw material for synthetic paper manufacturing. Resin costs typically account for 50-60% of the final value of a synthetic paper. Hence, any fluctuation in raw material prices directly affects the retail price of synthetic papers.
* Key product segments of synthetic paper include biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The versatility and cost effectiveness of BOPP film play a key role in its overall appeal to synthetic paper manufacturers, thus challenging the market share of other types of synthetic paper. BOPP accounted for over 60% of the global synthetic paper market in 2013, followed by HDPe and other synthetic resins. HDPE synthetic paper is primarily used due to its low initial material cost and excellent chemical resistance.
* Labels and non-labels are the primary applications of synthetic paper. Non-label was the largest application segment, accounting for just under 60% share of the global market in 2013. The non-labels segment comprises traditional synthetic paper products such as maps, charts, graphic arts, and banners. Synthetic papers are UV, chemical, water and oil resistant, which makes them ideal for a wide variety of outdoor and indoor applications. The labels segment includes wrap-around labels, in-mold labels, shrink labels, pressure-sensitive labels, cut and stack labels.
* With over 35% of the market share, Asia Pacific dominated the global synthetic paper market in 2013. The growing demand from end-user industries, especially from the cosmetics and chemicals industries, is expected to drive the market in the coming years. The shortage in raw material supply to Europe and the ongoing economic crisis are expected to decrease its market share in the near future. The pharmaceutical sector dominated the synthetic paper market in Europe. North America and RoW followed Europe with a combined share of approximately 33% in 2013.
* The global synthetic paper market is highly concentrated as the top three players accounted for nearly 83% of the market in 2013. Key players in the global synthetic paper market include Yupo Corporation, PPG Industries, Arjobex, DuPont, Hop Industries, Tagleef Industries, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation and American Profol.

As per, synthetic paper is manufactured by using synthetic resins which are derived from petroleum products. It has characteristics similar to regular paper made from wood pulp but in appearance it looks like plastic films. Mostly, it is in opaque or white color which has printing and processing capabilities. Usually, synthetic paper is made up of HDPE or BOPP and few amounts of polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). These materials are used for giving better printability and a matt surface. HDPE is widely used and PP is catching up fast.
Synthetic paper can be segmented on the basis of applications into non-label segment and labels/tags. The non-label segment comprises of traditional synthetic paper products such as graphic arts, banners, maps, menu, etc. The global synthetic market has undergone tremendous changes owing to technological development and is expected to grow at a steady pace. The labels segment is expected to grow faster than the non-label segment. Environmental issues regarding the manufacturing of wood pulp based paper is driving the market for synthetic paper and has many advantages over regular paper. Synthetic paper emits very low toxic gases and hence is eco-friendly. Prices of synthetic papers are slightly higher than regular paper hence they are preferred over the former. However, this challenge can be overcome by technological development and innovation. The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing market followed by Europe and North America. It is a niche market and hence a relatively small one when seen on a global scale. The North American region is a mature market for synthetic papers. Some countries have started printing their currencies using such paper. They are slowly replacing vinyl papers used in printers by water-proof versions of synthetic paper.

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