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World demand for green packaging to reach $212 billion in 2015

Above-average demand growth expected in reusable and degradable packaging, although recycled-content packaging will remain the largest product type.

iStock_000011469677XSmall.jpgWorld demand for green packaging—including recycled-content, reusable, and degradable packaging—is projected to rise 5.7% per year to $212 billion in 2015. That’s according to a new study, “World Green Packaging,” from The Freedonia Group. The study notes that while recycled-content packaging will remain by far the largest product type through the forecast period and beyond, this segment will see the slowest increases due to the maturity of products such as metal cans and glass containers. On the other hand, above-average demand growth is expected in reusable and degradable packaging. In particular, the demand for degradable packaging will continue to see double-digit annual growth rates.

Gains in recycled-content packaging will be supported by increased collection activity and processing capacity, coupled with greater use of recycled-content packaging by firms seeking to demonstrate environmental responsibility and differentiate their products. Demand for reusable packaging will be boosted by an acceleration in global manufacturing activity. Degradable packaging will continue to see the fastest advances in demand, but will only account for approximately 1% of the overall green packaging market through 2015.

The Asia/Pacific region will see above-average gains (7.2% from 2010 to 2015, to approximately $79.1 billion) and will remain the largest regional market in the world, due to its large food and beverage industries (which represent the main green packaging applications). Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region will also experience above-average growth, though advances in these areas will stem from smaller bases (collectively, these three regions only accounted for 12% of global green packaging demand in 2010). Overall, some of the fastest growth will be seen in Asia, specifically in India, China, and Indonesia. Other developing countries such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, and Mexico are also expected to see healthy gains.

The U.S., which accounted for 23% of global sales in 2010, is the largest national green packaging market in the world by a wide margin. Other large, generally mature markets include Japan and Germany. While Japan will remain one of the largest markets in the world, the country is forecast to see the slowest growth rate through 2015. Nonetheless, good opportunities will still be found in developed countries, especially for degradable packaging products.

“World Green Packaging” is available for $6,100 from The Freedonia Group, Inc. For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440/684-9600, fax 440/646-0484 or e-mail

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