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E-commerce Plastic Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

E-commerce Plastic Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • August 2021
  • 196 pages
  • ID: 6129754
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The E-commerce Plastic Packaging Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.2 % over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020 caused a significant increase in the usage of e-commerce instead of the traditional brick and mortar sales as the lockdown measures were implemented in multiple countries to curb the spread of the virus. The pandemic has resulted in the return of single-use plastic bags and boxes due to hygienic reasons, thus, positively impacting the usage of plastic packaging in e-commerce. ?

- The rapid growth of the market is primarily driven by fashion and apparel, consumer electronics, and personal care industries. Considerable investments in the consumer electronics, personal care, and fashion and clothing industries are creating a scope for the expansion of packaging opportunities. The e-commerce industry is exploiting the opportunities in the packaging landscape driven by young demographic profile, with increasing internet penetration and relatively better economic performance in the past few years. ?
- The market is witnessing the launch of multiple plastic resins made from recycled plastic. In January 2021, Dow announced the commercial usage of its AGILITY CE resin, which is made with 70% recycled plastic. A film converter based in Spain known as Plastigaur is utilizing the resin in its collation shrink film, generally utilized in the transportation of PET bottles or cans. The PCR content in the final shrink film developed by Plastigaur is 50%, which reportedly results in 25% reductions in carbon emissions.?
- The demand for healthier and safer packaging is helping the industry of glass packaging to grow in variable categories. Innovative techniques for shaping, giving artistic finish, embossing is making them more desirable to the end users. Moreover the demand for biodegradable and eco-friendly products as well as the rise of beverage and food market stimulating the industry growth of glass packaging.
- E-commerce has emerged to be a prominent choice for the consumer to purchase goods during the last decade or so. The rising internet penetration, growing access to the internet across the vast majority of the populations in developing economies, increasing smartphone penetration, advancements in technology, and rapid urbanization have created a massive opportunity for the e-commerce market. According to Spiralytics, digital online buyers are estimated to reach 2.1 billion in 2021
- The rapid growth of the market is primarily driven by fashion and apparel, consumer electronics, and personal care industries. Considerable investments in the consumer electronics, personal care, and fashion and clothing industries are creating a scope for the expansion of packaging opportunities. According to IBEF, in 2020, electronics were the most significant contributors to online retail sales in India, with a 60% share, followed closely by personal care, wellness and beauty segment at 29%.
- Moreover, companies are adopting an omnichannel distribution strategy for their products, including online purchasing, which is fuelling the growth of the e-commerce packaging as a whole. The statistics by ReadyCloudSuite which suggest that 66% of the online shoppers rely on more than one channel for purchases, and 60% of shoppers begin product research on a mobile device before purchasing, validate the growth prospects.
- Further, bioplastic is taking a prominent role in e-commerce packaging material used as it has a wide range of applications. The most common source of bioplastic is fermented starch from corn and wheat, as it is highly durable and biodegradable. Also, to replace the ever-present plastic bag, plant fibers, such as jute and hemp, are widely used as containers.

Key Market Trends

Consumer Electronics and Media to Hold Significant Market Share

- In the current market scenario, to achieve efficient packaging, plastics often enable manufacturers to ship more products with lesser packaging material. This process of light-weighting can play an essential role in boosting the environmental and economic efficiency of consumer product packaging. Also, blister packaging is ideal for small consumer electronic goods. This type of plastic packaging highlights electronic accessories and provides some degree of tamper resistance, while still being convenient and easy to open. These characteristics are helping drive market growth.?
- Sustainable packaging guidelines have also been incorporated into the qualifying criteria of the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) by global industry groups, such as the Green Electronics Council.?Eco-friendly packaging is becoming a popular choice for electronic products.
- Protective packaging items, such as air bubble wraps, air pillows, and other inflatable packaging products, which can protect consumer electronics, are becoming increasingly popular among manufacturers of packaging products for consumer electronics. These packaging options are expected to meet the needs of all electronic segments in the future.
- Government authorities and regulators have made a strong push for the adoption of green packaging. Both brands and customers are becoming more aware of eco-friendly packaging and the importance of safeguarding the environment from non-biodegradable packaging waste.?
- Cell phones are usually packed and shipped using plastic material. Although many manufacturers are shifting toward sustainable packaging options, the use of plastic films and wraps to package boxes is growing. ? In April 2020, Samsung Electronics opted to use new eco-friendly packaging across its entire Lifestyle TV product range. The move is part of the company’s attempts to lessen its carbon footprint in the coming years.?

China of Asia-Pacific region to Witness Significant Market Growth

- China is one of the world’s largest e-commerce market, surpassing the United States and the European Union. According to Statista, the number of online buyers has increased from 610.1 million in 2018 to 782.4 million in 2020. The surge is attributed to the global lockdown across various countries.?
- The growing e-commerce business in the region is also pushing the market for e-commerce product packaging. According to the Straits Times, Alibaba and JD.com’s single-day online discount sales generated 160,000 metric ton of packaging trash in China. Furthermore, according to government data, these e-commerce products are packaged in 8.27 billion plastic bags. Greenpeace also reports that the volume of packaging material used by the e-commerce sector was 9.4 million ton in 2019 and is anticipated to reach 41.3 million ton by 2025.?
- Due to expanding consumer preference for online shopping, the proliferation of payment options, as well as online shopping events including single day offers enticing discounts, and enhanced logistic infrastructure, China is one of the emerging nations where the e-commerce sector is expanding rapidly. ?
- The e-commerce boom in the country has compelled the packaging companies and the resellers to explore sustainable packaging alternatives including recycled plastics, among others. Such initiatives are likely to boost the e-commerce packaging market growth in the coming years.?

Competitive Landscape

The market studied is fragmented, with market incumbents, such as Amcor PLC, Berry Global Inc., and Sealed Air Corporation, Pregis LLC, Sonoco Products Company, Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH operating in the market. Companies are gaining sustainable competitive advantage through innovation in design, technology, and application.

- For instance, in the recent past, Amcor opened two e-commerce testing laboratories in Manchester, Michigan, US, and in Ghent, Belgium. At both sites, the company’s packaging experts will test and certify packaging for customers from around the world. Recent developments in the market are -
- February 2021 - Sealed Air Corporation declared that it had set a new target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. This announcement was in line with the successful performance of the company in implementing the sustainability strategy and its 2020 objective to reduce its operational greenhouse gas intensity by 25%. By achieving a reduction of more than 44%, the company far exceeded its target for 2020.?
- June 2021 - A seven-layer blown-film line was announced by Amcor’s Flexible North America division. Amcor’s new production machine produces ultra-clear and heatproof films of the company’s recently-launched proprietary technology, AmPrima PE Plus. The AmPrima range uses machine guidance technology to produce films that can be run at speeds that competitors cannot comply with, in a solution ready for recycling.?

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