US demand for plastic containers to exceed $32 billion in 2016
Bottles and jars, which represented 77% of plastic container poundage in 2011, are by far the leading plastic container type. Through 2016, plastic bottle and jar demand is expected to rise 2.8% per year to 165 billion units, moderated by the already-dominant position of plastic in many applications, with few new areas existing for large-scale conversions. Additionally, bottle unit growth in the 2001-2006 period benefited significantly from skyrocketing sales of bottled water. Going forward, a substantial deceleration in bottled water growth is expected based on environmental considerations. Still, advances will be aided by healthy prospects for smaller single-serving beverage bottles. Among major bottle and jar markets, the fastest gains are anticipated for pharmaceutical and food applications.
Faster volume gains are anticipated for other plastic container types, such as tubs, cups, and bowls. Demand will be supported by the convenience, portability, and portion control benefits of single-serving cup packaging as well as favorable outlooks for certain foods (e.g., yogurt, hummus, single-cup coffee) typically packaged in tubs and cups. A rebound is expected for plastic pails based on a recovery in construction activity from low levels in 2011, which will boost demand for paints, adhesives, driveway sealers, and other goods typically packaged in pails.