The Europe Plastic Bottles and Containers Market was valued at USD 35.9 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 48.5 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 4.3% over the forecast period from 2020 to 2025. In most European countries, the population is growing, and the use of packaging per person increases. It is due to consumer behavior trends, such as the use of convenience products, and the increasing use of plastic as substitutes for other packaging materials. The demand for plastic bottles and containers continues to rise in Europe even though serious concerns are being raised about its impact on the environment. However, the market also faces challenges due to the government regulations in Europe and increasing consumer demand that pushes manufacturers to look for plastic packaging solutions that are biodegradable or derived from sustainable sources.
- Plastic containers are also becoming famous in the beverage segment and the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. Newer filling technologies and the development of heat-resistant PET bottles have opened up new possibilities and options in the market. While the PET bottles are standard in multiple segments, owing to which beverages, sanitary products, cosmetics, and detergents are predominantly sold in bottles that are made up of polyethylene (PE). The EU is pioneering the plastic area with its drive toward circular economy principles. The EU is mainly focused on plastic waste, as the high-volume, single-use item plastic packaging has come under scrutiny.
- In March 2019, the European Parliament adopted the Commission-proposed SUP directive to increase PET's recycling, which is the main component in plastic bottles and containers for packaging foods, beverages, and personal care products. Multiple international brands are also supporting this development through their recycling pledges. The initiative has resulted in an increased PET bottle collection rate in western Europe, which rose from 58% in 2016 to 63% in 2018 and is projected to reach 65% in 2019. Under this directive, the industry is required to achieve recovery rates of 77% by 2025 and 90% by 2029. Along with this, according to European Union targets, the plastic bottles in the European Union would have to contain at least 30% plastic recycled content by 2030.
- Soft drinks hold a considerable share of the market studied, due to the popularity of such beverages. Soft drinks offer a wide variety of flavors and formats, with something to suit the drinking occasion. According to Unesda ( European association), low-calorie, sugar-free beverages currently account for up to 30% of sales in many European markets. Also, the reduction of the material weight is considered as an essential goal of the industry, which may result in ecological effects in transportation. Regarding this, plastics have a definite advantage over glass. Plastic bottles are also improving in areas, such as protection against UV radiation and gas barrier properties. These factors are leading toward plastic products, increasing their share in the packaging market.
- Along with the market trends in 2019, the onset of 2020 led to plastic manufacturers' issues amid the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, as of March 2020, the British Plastics Federation (BPF), surveyed its members to depict the coronavirus pandemic impact on the UK's plastics manufacturing. The same results show that nearing to 80% of the companies expected a drop in turnover over the next six months. Another survey by Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen, based in Germany, measured the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as of late April 2020. The report underlined facts, such as manufacturers of food packaging working under high pressure to secure supplies for the population and the demand for packaging across the industrial sector and gastronomy sector dropping significantly.
Key Market Trends
PET is Expected to Hold Significant Share
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) was introduced in the early 1970s, and since then, PET has been the preferred choice for bottles. The FICCI indicated that more than 80% of the PET produced worldwide is used in the water and beverage packaging industry. The FMCG and food industry uses a small percentage of PET in packaging. The European Union has set a goal of using a minimum of 30% recycled plastic bottles by 2030. The European Union member also states formed an agreement to collect 90% of plastic bottles by 2029. The increasing awareness and consumer preferences for eco-friendly solutions are the primary factors for the rapid adoption of PET packaging.
- The reduction of material in the blow-molded PET containers is driven by cost reduction (material and transportation) and the increasing consumer demand for sustainable packaging. In Europe, there is a significant latent potential for the barrier PET bottles in wine, beer, and specialty alcoholic beverages where the penetration of plastic bottles is shallow. Moreover, the European Federation of Bottled Waters, which represents around 600 natural mineral and spring water producers, set the target to use an average of at least 25% rPET in plastic bottles and collect 90% of all the PET bottles by 2025. Moreover, Coca-Cola's European partners have pledged to receive 100% of the packaging and use 50% of the recycled plastic in plastic PET bottles in Western Europe by 2025.
- In November 2019, BP Infinia focused on developing currently unrecyclable PET plastic waste to be diverted from landfill or burning and transformed back into new, virgin feedstocks. The company's technology is designed to turn difficult-to-recycle PET plastic waste, like colored bottles and black food trays, into recycled feedstocks. The beverage companies are also focusing on adopting recyclable plastic packages to create a sustainable beverage ecosystem, which is likely to reduce hazardous waste in the economy. For instance, in June 2019, Coca-Cola's Great Britain subsidiary launched its fully recyclable plastic bottles made by 100% recycled PET (rPET). These rPET bottles were launched under its Glaceau Smartwater brand.
- The PET recycling companies are also expanding their reach in Europe by establishing new facilities in the region. For instance, in February 2020, Biffa, a massive waste management provider, based in the United Kingdom, created a further 27.5 million pound state-of-the-art (SOA) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling plant in Seaham, England. The new facility is capable of converting 57,000 metric tons of PET plastics annually, equivalent to 1.3 billion plastic bottles. The manufacturers are also investing in the development of lightweight PET bottles. For instance, in December 2019, Leeds-based CO 2Sustain developed an innovative solution that could proactively help the process of light-weighting, a technique that targets reducing plastic consumption in the beverage industry.
Cosmetics is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- Plastic is one of the most used and preferred materials for cosmetics packaging. Numerous cosmetic products in the market come in plastic bottles and containers due to the easy molding, structuring, and designing capability of the material as well as the protection. In the cosmetics industry, plastic bottles and containers are preferred forms of secondary packaging and held an unchallenged prominent share in the market half a decade ago. According to a National Geographic study, plastic packaging is used 120 times more currently in cosmetics packaging than in 1960. Moreover, the growing consumer's inclination towards adopting products that incorporate sustainable packaging solutions in the European region is influencing the plastic packaging demand in cosmetics.
- Cosmetics packaging uses a variety of plastic cosmetic bottles and containers to suit diverse packaging needs. The demand for packaging for skincare products is on the rise. In Western Europe, disposable incomes and the growing popularity of skincare products from natural and organic ingredients are likely to drive the region's growth. Socio-demographic changes in the region are affecting the demand for natural ingredients for cosmetics and related products. The region's aging population increases the need for natural ingredients with active properties, such as anti-aging. Besides, various plastic bottle packaging providers are innovating with their offerings and materials used in their products. For instance, Berry Global Inc introduced a 100% recyclable BioPET bottle designed for beauty products.
- Germany remains the leading European market for cosmetics, according to French trade offices. This is because of the reliability of the country's contract manufacturing industry in formulation and packaging. As per the same study, Germany is a significant player in the European cosmetics industry in terms of consumption and production, which is why packaging giants are headquartered in the country. In September 2019, Geka GmbH released a Mascara Line, which comes in packaging made of 100% PCR-PET material suitable for food-contact produced out of post-consumer PET-A bottle scraps. In October 2019, Dove announced launching plastic-free beauty bars and 100% recycled plastic bottles in the European region for a new refillable deodorant format. The company said this initiative might cut the use of virgin plastic by more than 20,500 metric tons per year.
- In January 2020, German multinational Beiersdorf, specializing in skincare products, developed cosmetic bottles made of 100% recycled polyethylene (PE) for its Nivea brand. This launch is a part of the company's Recyclist project and the result of a collaboration between the Fraunhofer IVV, Fraunhofer IWKS, and Pla.to. Fraunhofer IVV developed the "comprehensive recycling concept" for Beiersdorf intending to reuse high-quality PE recyclates to produce packaging cosmetic products. Every year, the company uses more than 750 million PE bottles as packaging material for its skincare products, which corresponds to the material usage of approximately 16,000 metric tons. Until now, cosmetic bottles made of PE generally end up as low-quality recyclates (downcycling) or used as the substitute fuel.
The Europe plastic bottles and containers market is quite fragmented. Some of the significant players are Alpla Group, Amcor plc, Gerresheimer AG, Graham Packaging Company and Plastipak Holdings, Inc, etc. among others. The companies in the market are increasing their market share by launching new products and also by forming multiple partnerships and mergers. Some of the recent developments are:
- May 2020 - Alpla Group announced an rPET extrusion system that would be going into operation in the month at the recycling plant PET Recycling Team in Poland. This is due to the capacity for rPET (PET regrind material) would be doubled from 15,000 to 30,000 tons per annum.
- February 2020 - Amcor PLC, in the multivitamin category, showcased the development and launch of the PET container that is made from 100% post-consumer recycled content (PCR) resin. The company created a clear bottle in two sizes, 100 cubic centimeters, and 150 cubic centimeters, for Ritual, a health meets technology company that reimagined the multivitamin.
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1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition
1.2 Scope of the Study
2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
4. MARKET INSIGHTS
4.1 Market Overview
4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.2.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.2.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.2.4 Threat of Substitutes
4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.4 Impact of COVID-19 on the Industry
5. MARKET DYNAMICS
5.1 Market Drivers
5.1.1 Increasing Adoption of Lightweight Packaging Methods
5.1.2 Changing Demographics and Lifestyle Factors
5.2 Market Challenges
5.2.1 Growing Environmental Concerns over the Use of Plastic
5.3 Market Opportunities
6. MARKET SEGMENTATION
6.1 By Raw Material
6.1.1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
6.1.2 Polypropylene (PP)
6.1.3 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
6.1.4 High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
6.1.5 Other Raw Materials
6.2 By End-user Vertical
184.108.40.206 Bottled Water
220.127.116.11 Carbonated Soft Drinks
18.104.22.168 Other Beverages
6.2.5 Household Care
6.2.6 Other End-user Verticals
6.3 By Country
6.3.1 United Kingdom
6.3.6 Rest of Europe
7. KEY VENDOR PROFILES
7.1 Amcor PLC
7.2 Gerresheimer AG
7.3 Plastipak Holdings Inc.
7.4 ALPLA Group
7.5 Berry Global Inc.
7.6 Alpha Packaging Inc.
7.7 Graham Packaging Company LP
7.8 Resilux NV
7.9 Greiner Packaging International GmbH
7.10 Comar LLC
8. INVESTMENT ANALYSIS
9. FUTURE OF THE MARKET
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Alpha Packaging Inc.
- ALPLA Group
- Amcor PLC
- Berry Global Inc.
- Comar LLC
- Gerresheimer AG
- Graham Packaging Company LP
- Greiner Packaging International GmbH
- Plastipak Holdings Inc.
- Resilux NV