Paper and board have key roles in the future of packaging

Paper and paperboard will continue to play a vital role in the evolving global packaging market according to the latest exclusive research from Smithers Pira.
Board and paperboard (corrugated, folding carton stock and liquid paperboard) is the largest packaging material type covered in the Smithers study. It accounted for 35.7% of world packaging consumption in 2016, followed by flexible packaging (plastic, paper and foil) with 23.3%, rigid plastic packaging with 18.2% and metal with 12.2%. Pulp and paper is represented in the two largest packaging material segments – board and flexibles –in 2017.
Flexible packaging is forecast to grow consumption at the fastest rate through to 2022, driven by advantages in lightweight, demand for smaller more convenient packaging and improvements in design. Growth will be strongest for flexible plastics which are already two third of the market, but flexible papers will perform only slightly less well across the five year forecast, with aluminium seeing the smallest boost, as pricing and improvements in competing barrier materials squeeze its share.
Food markets dominate flexible packaging consumption accounting for three-quarters of global consumption in 2016. Meat, fish and poultry; confectionery; dried food; and savoury snacks are the largest food markets for flexible packaging. Pharmaceuticals, medical, cosmetics and toiletries are the largest non-food markets for flexible packaging.

SOURCE: Smithers Pira

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