Europe to Emerge as New Leader in Stretch Films Market as Market Gradually Shifts Towards Bio-based Materials amid Stringent Regulatory Scenario

Oct 09,2018

The global market for stretch films has witnessed the emergence of a variety of biodegradable and bio-based films in the past few years as companies focus on the development of more fitting product varieties in a number of regional markets that have stringent regulations on the use of single-use non-biodegradable plastics for packaging purposes. The scenario can also be observed as one that promotes material innovation for new vendors seeking to exploit the vast growth opportunities in the global stretch films market or for established vendors to further strengthen their hold on the market.

In a recent report by Future Market Insights, innovations in materials used for manufacturing stretch films, focused more on the biodegradable and bio-based products, are said to emerge as major influence on the future growth prospects of the global stretch films market. The report states that the market will exhibit a promising 4.6% CAGR over the period between 2018 and 2028, rising from a valuation of US$ 8.06 bn in 2018 to US$ 12.59 bn by 2028.

Noted below are the leading factors that are expected to have a notable impact on the overall development of the market in the near future:

·         Rise in Imports and Exports Drive Market: Rising demand from reliable and effective packaging in industries such as foods and beverages and consumer goods will propel the global market for shrink films in the coming years. The global stretch films market is also propelled by the vast developments observed in the food and beverages and consumer goods industries in the past few years. A continuous rise in international imports and exports call for effective packaging of products, leading to an increased demand for a variety of shrink films. However, the constantly fluctuating prices of crude oil, which makes for the primary feedstock in the production of several varieties of stretch and shrink films, could have a negative impact on the future growth prospects of the global stretch and shrink film market.

·         High Rise in Demand in Food Packaging Industry: Technological advancements in the recent past has led to innovative methods of packaging that not only are more efficient but also improve the presentation of the product and thereby helps in marketing aspects. Packaging provides protection and improve shelf-life of a product. The food and beverage industry is thriving, and currently accounts for more than one-third of the global packaging market. The use of stretch films is high in the food packaging industry owing to their strength, transparency, and convenience of use. In the near future as well, the food packaging application is likely to remain one of the most lucrative applications for the stretch films market.

·         Polyethylene to Remain Most Attractive Material Segment: Of the variety of materials used for manufacturing stretch films, the segment of polyethylene is presently the most preferred one owing to benefits such as improved packaging time and process, excellent load containment, lower packaging cost, and high performance. Of these, cost effectiveness and high performance are the chief criteria that attract manufacturers of stretch films towards polyethylene, which also continues to remain the most abundantly used packaging material in the food and beverages industries. However, stringent government regulations pertaining to restrictions on the use of plastics below 50 microns could result in a gradual shift of manufacturers as well as consumers towards biodegradable films made from bio-grade plastics.

·         Europe to Continue to Show a Strong Demand for Stretch Films: Presently, the market in Asia Pacific is one of the leading contributors of revenue to the global stretch films market owing to the abundance of manufacturers and a thriving packaging industry. However, as the demand for bio-grade, bio-derived, and biodegradable stretch films strengthens, especially across developed regional markets such as Europe and North America, the market dynamics is likely to take a shift and regional markets showing progress in the area are expected to emerge as the most lucrative ones.

The scenario is likely to largely favor the market for stretch films in Europe as the region has embarked on a journey to bring down its carbon emissions through the gradual shift towards renewables in areas such as power, packaging, and construction. As the packaging industry is one of the most abundant sources of carbon emissions owing to the conventional use of petroleum-derived plastics, the focus of the region on introducing reforms mandating the phasing out of highly polluting plastics is likely to remain high. This will massively impact the present state of flexible packaging industry in the region, which is a leading consumer of a variety of stretch films. The focus on the increased usage of bio-based stretch films is likely to pick pace in the region in the next few years and the region is expected to emerge as the leading market for new-age, bio-based and biodegradable stretch films