Necessity and Availability Will Shape the Market Trends for the Packaging Foam Market

February, 2020

Polymers foams have been playing a crucial part in the packaging industry with high efficiency of the vapor barrier, thermal insulation, mechanical shock absorption, and durability. All these factors collectively add to increased consumer ease and improved product shelf life. The added advantage the packaging foam has from polymer films & sheets is its low mass density, effectively reducing the cost of application. However, the uniqueness of packaging foam material, which led to its roaring market growth, has come back to haunt it. The wastage of packaging foam post-consumer usage has been causing nuisance all around the globe, making it one of the most visible pollutants.

The recycling processes & technologies are still costly and are evolving. The policymakers across geographies seem to be relatively unimpressed with the efforts being made by industry participants towards finding a sustainable solution. So, they are stepping up and changing the rules of the market. European circular economy regulations, Chinese ban on the contaminated waste import, and various state-level legislations in the US are prime examples of this.

At the ground level, the polymer foam is not directly and completely replaceable in most of its applications. There are two key reasons behind this, specialized functionalities and demand volumes. The polymer packaging foams play a significant role in preserving the products for a later time, by providing the optimum vapor barrier, thermal barrier, and mechanical barrier all at a very minimalistic cost. There are not many options available to provide the requisite functionalities without hugely impacting on cost, which in turn will limit the replacement. Further, all other possible replacement materials do not have enough capacities to fulfill even 10% of the replacement demand from consumer industries of polymer packaging foam. This makes replacement possibilities even minimal.

These regulatory changes, along with cross-industries dynamics of other industries, are expected to drive the change in the market, which is expected to reach $22.43 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period of 2019–2025. North America and Europe were major markets for packaging foam until the Chinese market outgrew them, and Asia became the global leader. The Chinese market for packaging foam not only serves the domestic demand but also towards the packaging demand for its large export shipment going towards different parts of the world. Few of the key players in the industry can be named as Atlas Roofing Corporation, Armacell, BASF SE, Borealis AG, Dart Containers Corporation, FoamPartner Group, JSP, Kaneka Corporation, Sealed Air, Wisconsin Foam Products, and Zotefoams.

The study produced by Infoholic Research provides drivers, restraints, opportunities with current and emerging market trends. The market for packaging foam has been analyzed based on types – flexible and rigid; based on materials – polystyrene, polyurethane (polyester and polyether), polyolefins (expanded & cross-linked), and others; and based on end-user – food & beverages, automotive, electrical & electronics, consumer durables, logistics, medical & personal care, and others. Further, it covers an in-depth analysis of each type and application along with forecasting and trends analysis in the global packaging foam market.