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Europe Plastic Bottles and Containers Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

Europe Plastic Bottles and Containers Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

  • April 2022
  • 143 pages
  • ID: 6155632
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The European Plastic Bottles and Containers Market was valued at USD 30.78 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 39.12 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 3.87% over the forecast period 2022 to 2027. Many countries are anticipated to shift towards using single-use plastics, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the market. Supply chains are strained because of a spike in demand for single-use plastic packaging and medical supplies. A significant surge in plastic demand will likely lead to a temporary alteration in the short-term initiatives and targets of shifting toward a circular economy. Moreover, it is also likely to pressurize the plastic manufacturing chain.

Key Highlights
Plastic containers are becoming a popular choice in the beverage industry and other segments like the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. New-age filling technologies and the development of heat-resistant PET bottles have introduced new possibilities and options. The PET bottles are standard in multiple segments, owing to which beverages, sanitary products, cosmetics, and detergents are predominantly sold in polyethylene (PE) bottles. The EU is defining the plastic area with its drive toward circular economy principles. The EU is mainly focused on plastic waste, as the high-volume, single-use item plastic packaging has come under scrutiny.
In the wake of world strategies to switch to cleaner packaging technologies to save the environment, companies are introducing more environment-friendly alternatives to regular polluting plastics, resulting in saving on the disposal of virgin plastics. For instance, in August 2021, as per the announcement by Britvic, Robinsons, Drench 500 ml bottles and Lipton Ice Tea are set to move to 100% recycled plastic bottles. By switching to rPET, Britvic is expected to save 1,354 tons of virgin plastic every year.
Europe is considered one of the largest consumers of bottled water, owing to an increased demand for plastic bottle containers. According to the British Soft Drink Association annual report 2021, the consumption of bottled water in the United Kingdom accounted for 2,542 million liters in 2020. Also, the rising health concerns in Europe drive the demand for mineral water and hence, the plastic bottle market in the region. The region focuses on delivering the right minerals in the bottled water to ensure the consumers have healthy bones, decreased cholesterol, LDL levels, and reduced blood pressure.
Moreover, in February 2021, Unesda soft drink beverage packing pledged to make the EU (European Union) fully circular by 2030. According to the company, the bottle packaging sector includes 90% collection of recyclable packaging. For instance, the company has polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles made from 100% recycled and renewable material. Furthermore, the company aims to launch its Circular Packaging Vision 2030 with a commitment to achieving it by 2025 to ensure that the company’s packaging is 100% recyclable with PET bottles, averaging 50% of the recycled content.

Key Market Trends

Beverages to Hold Significant Market Share

Europe is considered one of the largest consumers of bottled water, owing to an increased demand for plastic bottle containers. According to the British Soft Drink Association annual report 2021, the consumption of bottled water in the United Kingdom accounted for 2,542 million liters in 2020.
According to the Bottled Water Organization, the region prefers plastic packaging for water over glass as countries like Germany and the United Kingdom have a stronger presence in the industry, and they prefer PET bottles and consider it to be the most dynamic packaging solution for bulk water packaging.
Furthermore, the European region has seen steady growth in the demand for carbonated soft drinks over the years. PET bottles provide an advantage over another packaging as they are available in larger sizes from 200 ml to 3 little, making them versatile.
The demand for healthier food alternatives, like fresh milk, is also increasing because this type of milk is considered more nutritious and healthier than shelf-stable milk. According to the OECD data, the estimated consumption volume of fresh dairy products in the EU-28 would increase to about a total of 37 million tons by 2028.
Beverages, like Sports drinks, energy drinks, and ready-to-drink beverages, like coffee and tea, are being studied under this segment. With the increasing health consciousness, people are more inclined to sports drinks and energy drink supplements.
Moreover, the fast-paced life encourages the region’s working class to opt for packaged drinks that they can avail of on the move. Many ready-to-drink beverage manufacturers are shifting to recycled plastic bottles in the European region. For instance, in October 2020, PepsiCo Europe, which produces 7Up Free, Pepsi MAX, Tropicana, and other ready-to-drink beverages, announced to distribute its products in 100% recycled plastic by the end of 2022.

United Kingdom to Witness Significant Growth

Plastic bottles and containers are widely used across industries in the United Kingdom for varied purposes. One of the primary adopters of plastic bottles and containers is the food and beverage industry, owing to the beverage companies’ increasing use of recyclable plastics.
The increasing proliferation of PET bottles, due to ease of use, less cost, and low material weight in different end-user applications, such as food, beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, is driving the market for plastic bottles in the country. According to British Plastics Federation, 70% of soft drinks are packaged in PET plastic bottles.
Furthermore, 7.7 billion of the 13 billion plastic bottles used each year are plastic water bottles. According to the #OneLess Campaign, water use in plastic bottles increased in the last 15 years. Every year, the average person in the United Kingdom consumes 150 plastic water bottles. In London, each person uses 175 plastic water bottles every year.
Plastic bottle producers in the United Kingdom are working to reduce the amount of plastic used in their goods. According to a Greenpeace analysis of the world’s top six soft drink firms, which looked at industry plastic production rates and recycled PET utilization, the companies polled concentrated their efforts on ’lightweight,’ or making PET bottles thinner to minimize costs, plastic use, and carbon emissions, or developing bioplastics that use materials other than oil as a supply material.
The country is witnessing significant recycling rates in plastic bottles, and multiple strategies are being advanced to address the issue of a circular economy, including substituting for alternative materials, investments toward the development of bio-based plastics, designing packaging to make them easier to process in recycling, and improving the recycling and processing of plastic waste.
Furthermore, the government is focusing on the recycling of single-use plastic bottles in the country by incorporating various schemes, such as refilling a reusable plastic bottle from the consumer side, using biodegradable or recycled PET bottles for the manufacturing of plastic bottles, innovating eco-friendly designs, and setting up a different council to recycle plastic bottles generated by various end-users.

Competitive Landscape

The market studied is highly fragmented. Alpla Group, Amcor PLC, Gerresheimer AG, Plastipak Holdings, Inc, Graham Packaging Company LP, etc., are some of the significant players. The companies are increasing their market share by launching new products in the market and forming multiple partnerships and mergers. Some of the recent developments are:

March 2022 - Berry Global Group has partnered with Koa to launch Body Cleanser & Body Moisturizer bottles made from 100% recycled plastic. Berry Global places a firm focus on creating a positive environmental impact through streamlined operations, continuously engaged partners, and optimized products, a vision shared by Koa.
February 2022 - Greiner Packaging expanded its range of sanitizer bottles to meet the increased demand. The new product range comprises 16 bottles, including sanitizers, offered in different sizes and shapes with capacities between 100 and 1000 milliliters. These bottles are produced using the ISBM process and have round bodies, which can be made from up to 100% r-PET.
December 2021 - The ALPLA Group, in cooperation with joint venture partner Glatfelter Corporation, one of the prominent suppliers of engineered materials, announced their partnership with Blue Ocean Closures (BOC), a start-up based in the region of Värmland in Sweden, to develop innovative natural fiber-based closures and other molded packaging products using dry forming technology.

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