Transparency Market Research has published a new market report titled "Plastic Packaging Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 - 2020." The global plastic packaging market was valued at $259.65 Bn in 2013 and is expected to reach US$ 370.25 Bn by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period between 2014 and 2020. In terms of volume, the plastic packaging market was worth 78,400.2 kilo tons in 2013.

Increasing demand for plastic packaging in the healthcare industry is expected to be one of the key factors driving the growth of this market. In addition, expansion of the food & beverages market, which is the largest application of plastic packaging, is expected to fuel growth. Furthermore, rising consumer preference towards light weight, durable and highly aesthetic packaging is expected to significantly encourage growth of the market over the next few years. However, volatility in prices of crude oil which consequently affects the prices of its downstream chemicals is expected to hamper the plastic packaging market adversely. Research and development activities on plastic packaging technologies have opened up opportunities for the usage of nanotechnology in the formation of films and printing.

Plastics have been extensively used in packaging due to their high barrier properties, cost effectiveness and durability. Plastics are tough and durable enough to withstand rough handling during distribution and transportation. Additionally, plastics have superior aesthetic value and excellent barrier properties against moisture and air. This enhances the shelf life of the product that is packaged. Polyethylene is the cheapest and most widespread plastic film used for food packaging across the globe. Other plastics such as polypropylene are also gaining importance in the plastic packaging market. However, countries in regions such as North America, Europe and Asia Pacific have introduced and implemented legislations to ban the use of disposable plastic shopping bags. Some countries have imposed additional taxes at the point of sale of plastic bags. Nonetheless, increasing demand for bioplastics is expected to open growth avenues for the plastic packaging market in the near future.

Demand for plastic packaging was highest from the food & beverages sector and accounted for over 65% of the market share in 2013. Several regulations are being introduced and implemented across the world regarding packaging of pharmaceuticals due to factors such as maintenance of hygiene, reduction of fraudulent drugs in the retail market and to retain the medicinal properties of the drug. Thus, plastic packaging is expected to witness the fastest growth from the medical application segment over the next few years.

Asia Pacific accounted for the highest demand for plastic packaging in 2013, which was over 35% of the market share, owing to the presence of a large number of industries in this region. This trend is expected to continue over the forecast period on account of rapid economic development in this region resulting in the growth of industries such as food & beverages, personal care products and pharmaceuticals among others. Regions in the Rest of the World are expected to witness significant increase in consumption of packaging due to economic development in countries such as Brazil.