Global food demand drives polymer growth

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Recycling

Growth in polymers for plastic food packaging is being driven by the world's expanding population
Growth in polymers for plastic food packaging is being driven by the world's expanding population
Packaging polymers are growing in the developed and developing world, driven by the constant demand for more food to feed the world’s expanding population, according to PlasticsEurope.

In an exclusive interview, a spokesman for the trade body told “Globally, polymers used in packaging applications are growing in particular low, and linear low, density polyethylene, polypropylene and PET (polyethylene terephthalate).

“This is driven by the increasing world population and the growing demand for foodstuffs. There are shortages of food and the best way to limit food waste and maximise the amount of good food available is to use plastics packaging.”

Sophisticated plastics packaging

He said there was a great need for sophisticated plastics packaging in the developing world to protect foodstuffs to feed areas of high population density.

There would also continue to be strong demand in the developed world, because of the remaining significant opportunities to replace traditional packaging materials, he added.

However, the growth of virgin plastics had been subdued by the move towards reengineering packaging to make it lighter and the increased use of recyclable materials, he said.

Recycling rates growing

In addition, recycling rates for plastics packaging were growing, he said. “This is because of the growing interest in sustainability worldwide including China and India and the perception that recycling is an essential component of this.”

Legislation is pushing plastics recycling forward, according to the PlasticsEurope spokesman. “The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive has spawned a series of national laws which have placed recycling targets on national materials supply chains.

“These targets are progressively increased. In 2011 26.6% of plastics packaging was recycled in the UK.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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