Germany takes the lead, where 61% of film extrusion sites are producing shrink and stretch films, including Italian group Manuli Stretch, which has one of the largest plants for stretch film in Europe in Schkopau, Germany.
10% drop in film production
Dr Sally Humphreys, business development manager, AMI, told FoodProductionDaily.com despite fierce competition from outside Europe and the recession (2008-2009), which saw polyethylene film production drop by 10%, the industry remains one of the largest plastics processing sectors in the region in terms of polymer consumption.
Companies have had to increase in size and serve a wider audience to remain profitable and competitive. The directory is in English and includes 1,233 polyethylene film extrusion sites in Western and Central Europe.
“In 2013, for the first time ever, the consumption of linear and metallocene grades by film extruders exceeded the usage of conventional LDPE grades,” she said.
“This trend is here to stay, with AMI forecasting the use of metallocenes materials in film extrusion will grow at a rate of 3 or 4% points above that for the industry as a whole as more extruders develop products using them.”
According to Humphreys, film extruders have been steadily increasing their use of linear and metallocene resins to adapt to consumer demands, which explains the growth rates in stretch and shrink film production.
“Shrink and stretch films, used to protect goods in transit, each accounted for one million tonnes of polyethylene film production in 2013. AMI's directory shows the importance of this sector with 52% of plants involved in the production of stretch film or shrink film for collation or pallet wrapping.
“Despite the emergence of several players in AMI's directory, the polyethylene film market remains highly competitive and while the number of sites may have grown, it is not necessarily reflected in the number of companies involved.
“Consolidation and restructuring continues to be a major feature of the film extrusion market. The creation of the Coveris Group, bringing together the PE film operations of Britton Group, Veriplast, Unterland and Kobusch; the acquisition of Nordenia by the Mondi Group; RKW's takeover of Hyplast, are all evidence of this,” she added.
The 10th edition AMI’s Directory of Polyethylene Film Extruders in Europe is available as a book, a standard and a gold database. The gold database has additional contacts and extra information.
It includes addresses and numbers, email and website (where available), one managerial contact, the parent company and polymers processed: LDPE, LLDPE, LLDPEC4, LLDPEC6, LLDPEC8, HDPE, EVA, EAA/EBA, PP.
Other information is film products manufactured: film on the reel, agricultural mulch film, shrink film pallet, stretch film; converted products manufactured: carrier bags, wicketed bags, frozen food bags; film widths and printing services.