The US single-use packaging market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 23.39 billion in 2020, and it is projected to be worth USD 29.34 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 3.6% during the period of 2021-2026. Meanwhile, the US region has witnessed a significant acceleration in e-commerce driven by lockdowns imposed with the outbreak of COVID-19. However, COVID-19 dented the retail sales in March, April, and May in 2020. Such factors negatively impacted the usage of flexible plastic packaging in the US retail landscape in those respective months. However, retail in the United States witnessed a significant surge in late 2020, and this bounced back the usage of flexible plastic packaging in the region.
- The increasing need for small and more convenient packaging, and strong visual impact are some of the factors that are expected to contribute to the growth of single-use packaging over the forecast period. Single-use packaging is for products used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and most food packaging.
- The US flexible plastic packaging industry is witnessing healthy growth, as the industry was able to implement innovative solutions for the several packaging challenges it faced. According to the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), brand owners are adopting pouches, films, and bags as a go-to packaging solution, in part due to rising acceptance by American consumers.
- The growing production of different package sizes in line with the increasing demand for bottled water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, ready-to-drink beverage, and milk will fuel growth of the single-use plastic beverage container market.
- Polish vodka brand Sobieski packages vodka in plastic bottles. Part of the Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits Group, Sobieski is marketed as premium vodka and is popular in the United States. The plastic bottle is produced by Greiner Packaging, which relies on a combination of appealing design and practicality for the customer.
Key Market Trends
Healthcare & Pharmaceutical to Dominate Market Share
- The growing usage of SUPs and plastic-based packaging materials and the increasing demand for medical products and packaging amid the pandemic has significantly spiked the plastic waste generation worldwide. One primary need was the disposal of plastic-based parts of the coronavirus testing kits employing RT-PCR for hygienic concerns.
- Although single-use plastics are becoming increasingly banned worldwide, concerns of cross-contamination by reusing plastic bags and containers have forced countries like the US to temporarily revoke or defer bans on single-use plastics during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- For instance, a statewide ban on plastic bags in New York initiated in March 2020 was put on hold in May 2020 owing to the pandemic. California and Oregon also suspended their bans on plastic bags, while Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, etc., postponed similar prohibitions.
- The majority of PPEs are made up of polymers like polyurethane (PU), polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Among these, PS and LDPE are rarely recycled plastics, PET and HDPE are widely recycled while PVC and PP are often not recycled.
- Changing the type of plastic that facilities use can also help curb plastic pollution. For example, PVC is a standard plastic used in hospitals that discharge toxic chemicals when incinerated. To counter this, Kuraray America developed Polyolefin-based elastomers that require less energy to produce and contribute fewer emissions than PVC.
Plastics to Hold a Significant Market Share
- According to Biologicaldiversity.org, American citizens use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which require 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture. Americans use an average of 365 plastic bags per person per year. People in Denmark use an average of four plastic bags per year.
- Moreover, the spread of coronavirus has temporarily increased the adoption of single-use plastic due to its barrier properties. The major users being restaurants, grocery stores, and e-commerce vendors. Grocery stores have sharply increased plastic bag usage. Households are generating up to 50% more waste by volume than they did pre-COVID-19, indicating an increased demand, but as soon as the state achieves near-normal scenarios, the pre-covid established regulations to ban the use of single-use plastics is expected to subside the circulation of these packaging materials.
- On comparing single-use packaging to that of reusable tableware in Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), single-use systems have their advantages, particularly in carbon emissions and freshwater consumption.
- These are due to the amounts of energy and water needed to wash, sanitize and dry multi-use tableware. In the baseline scenario, the polypropylene-based multi-use system was responsible for generating over 2.5 times more CO2-e emissions and using 3.6 times the amount of freshwater than the paper-based single-use system.
- As a result, the market for single-use plastics might sustain only if the vendors in the market introduce packaging with higher recycling rates or including materials that help in decomposition. The above concerns are leading to the entry of new players in the market that are introducing Bio-based single-use plastic products.
The United States Single Use Packaging Market is moderately competitive with new firms entering the market and few dominant firms in the market. The firms keep on innovating and entering into strategic partnerships in order to retain their market share.
- May 2021 - Interfor Corporation reported that it had reached an agreement with Georgia-Pacific Wood Products LLC and GP Wood Products LLC to acquire four of its sawmill operations located in Bay Springs, Miss., Fayette, Ala., DeQuincy, La., and Philomath, Ore. The total purchase price of USD375 million, which includes working capital, will be funded entirely from cash on hand.
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Table of Contents
1.2 Scope of the Study
4.2 Industry Supply Chain Analysis
4.3 Market Drivers
4.3.1 Ongoing Trend toward Lightweighting and Use of Sustainable Solutions (such as Paper-based cups)
4.3.2 Flexible Single-use Packaging Products Offering Increased Convenience and Utility
4.4 Market Challenges
4.4.1 Stringent Regulations as Major Impediment to Growth of Single-use Plastic Packaging Products
4.5 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.5.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.5.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products
4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
4.6 Key Standards & Regulations
4.7 Impact of COVID-19 on the Single-use Packaging Market
5.1.1 Paper & Paperboard
5.1.4 Other Materials
5.2 End-User Industry
5.2.3 Healthcare & Pharmaceutical
5.2.4 Personal Care
5.2.5 Other End-user Industries
6.1.1 Dart Container Corporation
6.1.2 Georgia-Pacific LLC
6.1.3 Graphic Packaging International Inc.
6.1.5 Pactiv LLC
6.1.6 Snapsil Corporation
6.1.7 Berry Global Inc.
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Dart Container Corporation
- Georgia-Pacific LLC
- Graphic Packaging International Inc.
- Pactiv LLC
- Snapsil Corporation
- Berry Global Inc.