Home Paper & Packaging Single-Use Packaging Market Size, Share and Forecast to 2031

Single-Use Packaging Market

Single-Use Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Material Type (Paper and Paper Board, Plastic, Glass, Other Material Types (Metals, Wood)), By End-User Industry (Food, Beverage, Personal Care, Pharmaceutical, Other End-user Industries) and By Region(North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa, LATAM) Forecasts, 2023-2031

Report Code: SRPP54531DR
Study Period 2019-2031 CAGR 5.85%
Historical Period 2019-2021 Forecast Period 2023-2031
Base Year 2022 Base Year Market Size USD 38.60 Billion
Forecast Year 2031 Forecast Year Market Size USD 64.39 Billion
Largest Market Asia-Pacific Fastest Growing Market Europe
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Market Overview

The global single-use packaging market size was valued at USD 38.60 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 64.39 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.85% during the forecast period (2023-2031). 

Single-use plastic packaging is employed once or briefly before being discarded. Single-use packaging is composed mainly of petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels and is intended for immediate disposal. The scope of the research is restricted to the use of single-use packaging for end-user industries. Primary reasons influencing investment in the single-use packaging market include the recent COVID-19 outbreak, which has changed consumer purchasing habits, and the increased adoption of flexible, affordable, and user-friendly packaging.

Most end-user industrial companies today employ designs essential to modern life, such as single-use paper or plastic beverage cups, lids, straws, and bottles. For instance, plastic bags continue to have significant advantages over their substitutes. Market vendors primarily concentrate on the growth potential in the fast-growing segments while retaining their positions in the slow-growing parts to make the most of the opportunities. The environmental impact of creating one disposable cup is also lower than that of generating one reusable mug or bottle.


  • The plastic segment is the major contributor to the market by material type.
  • The food segment is the major contributor to the market by end-user industry.
  • Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor by region.

Market Dynamics

Global Single-use Packaging Market Drivers

Compact, Portable, and Convenient Packing 

Packaging is typically made smaller to use less material, to cost less, and to cut back on transportation expenses. It also helps cut back on waste. Lifestyle changes are reshaping the packaging sector. In addition to sanctifying meals and "grazing" on snacks all day, consumers expect more convenient, portable, and convenient options. As a result, more packaging packs will be required, and more packaging material will be utilized because smaller amounts must be consumed frequently during the day. The desire for more practical, timely, and portable solutions, such as smaller packets that consumers can carry with them and open and reopen, is driven by consumers in mature markets who also have busy lives. Even at home, the shift to smaller groups has been accelerated by the grazing tendency.

Customers interested in ready-to-eat food in manageable portions and health- and calorie-conscious are drawn to the tiny pack trend. Products that meet the need include single-serve breakfast cereal and small, versatile snack packs. Due to shifting demographics, smaller average home sizes have brought to light the need for packaging solutions that satisfy consumer needs for convenience and minimize food waste.

Global Single-use Packaging Market Restraint

Regulations Strictly Prohibit the Use of Single-Use Packaging Materials

Governments from every country have taken action in response to public concerns over packaging waste, mainly plastic packaging waste. Regulations are being implemented to reduce environmental waste and enhance waste management procedures. In the US, 16 states have passed statewide laws governing packaging waste, most concentrating on single-use plastics. Over the next three years, several other bills are anticipated to be given. Comparatively speaking, the European region has advanced significantly more regarding sustainability than certain other regions. The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD), which went into effect on July 3, 2021, outlawed common disposable plastic goods like straws and cutlery that may be swapped out for more environmentally friendly options.

Global Single-use Packaging Market Opportunities

New Trend in Online Food Delivery

Due to costs, operational challenges, and various state regulations, eliminating single-use plastics is time- and money-consuming for many online meal delivery businesses. Additionally, restaurants use more than 36 billion throwaway utensils yearly and produce almost three-fourths of all disposable packaging in the US, including plastic cutlery. However, the ban on single-use plastics might compel companies transporting food to utilize different packaging. The market for online food delivery services is anticipated to expand momentarily. As a result, the demand for single-use plastic is also expected to grow.

Regional Analysis

Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market

The global single-use packaging market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. 

Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.95% during the forecast period. Alibaba, the biggest online retailer in the world, is based in China, a country with a booming e-commerce industry. The National Bureau of Statistics of China estimates that in 2021, internet sales made up about 24.5% of all retail sales, down from 24.9% in 2020. However, the share of e-commerce retail has more than doubled since 2014. In that year, China continued to dominate the global Internet retail sector. China's industries have enormous needs for recycled paper, corrugated boxes, plastic wraps, films, and sheets, which is a significant factor in expanding the region's studied market. These needs are in addition to the enormous cosmetic, e-commerce, FandB, and online food retail single-use packaging materials market in the country.

Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.25% during the forecast period. Due to its widespread use across several end-user industries, including applications in food packaging for takeout and delivery, along with the logistics and beverage industries, Germany is recognized as one of the top contributors in the single-use packaging market during the study period. The country uses a lot of single-use plastic food containers, which has significantly increased pollution and garbage production. The government uses single-use packaging formats primarily due to the substantial presence of the food service sector. The country's restaurant business was severely impacted by COVID-19, which knocked the market under investigation.

In the United States, customers can shop at various supermarkets, including warehouse grocery stores, military commissaries, and natural/gourmet food supermarkets. The traditional supermarket is the most prevalent variety in the nation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced draft recommendations encouraging restaurants to prioritize disposable items to reduce virus exposure, and the Plastics Industry Association recommended single-use plastic products as "the most sanitary choice." Grocers used these allegations as proof of the resumption of single-use plastics.

The United Arab Emirates food service sector is expanding as a result of more people using online food delivery services, adopting cutting-edge business models like Grocerant, and increasing traveler interest (like Chinese tourists receiving visas upon arrival) as well as events like Dubai Expo2020, which is expected to draw millions of tourists and other major international gatherings. Such developments are driving the demand for single-use packaging in the nation. Players in the food technology industry (online food delivery) have also made themselves known in the country, which is predicted to experience rapid growth over the next few years. A key participant in this space is emerging: Delivery Hero. 

Report Scope

Report Metric Details
By Material Type
  1. Paper and Paper Board
  2. Plastic
  3. Glass
  4. Other Material Types (Metals, Wood)
By End-User Industry
  1. Food
  2. Beverage
  3. Personal Care
  4. Pharmaceutical
  5. Other End-user Industries
Company Profiles Ardagh Group S.A. Amcor PLC, Winpak Limited Dart Container Corporation Snapsil Corporation Transcontinental Inc
Geographies Covered
North America U.S. Canada
Europe U.K. Germany France Spain Italy Russia Nordic Benelux Rest of Europe
APAC China Korea Japan India Australia Taiwan South East Asia Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa UAE Turkey Saudi Arabia South Africa Egypt Nigeria Rest of MEA
LATAM Brazil Mexico Argentina Chile Colombia Rest of LATAM
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends
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Segmental Analysis

The global single-use packaging market is segmented by material type and end-user industry.

Based on material type, the global single-use packaging market is bifurcated into paper and paper board, plastic, glass, and others. 

The plastic segment is the major contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.95% during the forecast period. The market is expanding due to the rising demand for single-use packaging with more convenience and utility and for online food delivery services. Despite negative environmental implications, single-use plastics are widely used because of their superior durability and lightweight compared to other materials. However, once substitutes for single-use plastics get substantial commercial traction, the driver's impact will gradually fade. Due to their mix of flexibility, strength, lightness, stability, impermeability, and simplicity of sterilizing, single-use plastics are a commercially successful packaging material that is still in use despite all the environmental problems surrounding this type of packaging.

Single-use paper packaging has acquired a lot of traction because it is an environmentally beneficial alternative. Several studies have advocated using single-use packaging types and compared single-use paper packaging to other options with numerous uses. This research has aided in the expansion of the analyzed market and encouraged environmentally conscious consumers to utilize paper and paperboard. According to a Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report published in August 2021, paper-based single-use packaging solutions offer substantial environmental advantages over multi-user systems. Compared to the paper-based single-use system, the polypropylene-based multi-use system produced almost 2.5 times higher CO2 emissions and consumed 3.6 times as much freshwater.

Single-use glass has been subjected to rigorous legislation, much like the other materials used for single-use packaging solutions, which has hampered the development of the industry under investigation. However, single-use glass is being used by numerous beverage industries, particularly for alcoholic drinks. The regulatory environment and the general emphasis on recyclability have greatly affected the segment. The Cary Company claims that single-use glass has a more negative environmental impact than single-use plastic because producing single-use glass packaging requires more energy. When compared to reusable glass bottles, single-use glass bottles have been shown to have the most unsettling environmental effects.

In place of plastic, metals, and wood have become common materials for single-use packaging, especially in the sector under study where rules are strict. Aluminum is the primary metal utilized in the single-use packaging business. However, wood is an emerging raw material for single-use packaging designs. Bauxite, one of the more widespread ores on Earth, is the source of aluminum. Its central mining regions are Australia, North America, and the West Indies. By melting and purifying the bauxite ore, aluminum is obtained. Between 92 and 99% of aluminum is found in aluminum foil. Aluminum ingots are continuously cast or rolled on specialized equipment to create aluminum foil. However, the pandemic had a minor impact on mining operations worldwide in 2020, resulting in a steady bauxite supply.

Based on the end-use industry, the global single-use packaging market is bifurcated into food, beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, and other end users.

The food segment is the major contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.15% during the forecast period. Quick service, food service cups, containers, polystyrene (styrofoam), FCMs (food contact materials), and others are examples of single-use packaging for food. Due to the mounting amount of plastic bags, Styrofoam food containers, disposable coffee cups, etc., in landfills and rivers, single-use food packaging has significantly impacted the environment. Currently, the most popular types of disposables utilized in the food service industry are containers and cups. Since paper products have a better environmental profile than plastic counterparts, boxes, and cartons are anticipated to be used for single-use packaging. In addition, clamshells composed of paperboard, molded pulp, or bagasse are projected to expand more quickly than foam clamshells or containers, reflecting environmental concerns.

Plastic drinking straws are frequently employed in the beverage business because they are inexpensive. They are prohibited in a number of nations and states, including Seattle. Along with 60 other jurisdictions, many of which are in California, Florida, and New York, the plastic straw ban in Washington, DC, also went into effect in January 2020. In July 2020, Vermont sought to make it illegal for restaurants to give patrons plastic straws, drink stirrers, or polystyrene containers. In some markets, effective mechanical recycling initiatives are progressing, focusing on certain single-use products, such as drink bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Additionally, the Single-use Beverage Packaging Working Group has launched a project called Drink Without Waste to minimize waste generated by beverage consumption. 

Protecting personal products, including body cream, body lotions, oils, soap, shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, shower gels, toiletries, and others, from deterioration or contamination by moisture, air, or toxins is the primary purpose of personal care packaging. Plastics, paper, metals, and textiles are just a few of the materials used by the personal care packaging business to create appropriate product packaging. There were prolonged plant closures worldwide because of supply chain disruptions brought on by the spread of COVID-19. Manufacturers of bottles, cartons, and pumps have found it challenging logistically to supply the personal care industry. One of the primary packaging materials employed by the personal care sector is plastic, which can be found in primary containers, secondary flexible pouches, caps and closures, and the nozzle. 

Single-use plastics are a secure and effective solution to enhance hygienic conditions in healthcare facilities. Medical professionals can safely and conveniently dispose of single-use goods contaminated with hazardous waste. Certain medical plastics have coatings added to them that increase their microbial resistance. Concern over HIV and AIDS contributed to an increase in single-use plastic packaging within the business. One of the primary challenges in the field is still the worry about sickness and contaminants spreading. Single-use plastics are frequently used in hospitals and other healthcare institutions for items like syringes, IV bags, catheters, test kit packaging, and gloves that should be used sparingly. Additionally, low-cost design innovation is made possible by single-use plastics. 

Tobacco, shippers, cleaning chemicals, and other end-user industries and applications are some further examples. The multi-layered packaging used in sachets to pack and store different tobacco products is frequently made of single-use plastics. However, tobacco or cigarette packaging cannot be recycled once the product has been used, drawing substantial attention from regulators, environmentally conscientious customers, and forward-thinking product makers.

Market Size By Material Type

Recent Developments

  • March 2022- The Ardagh Group collaborated with Constellation Brands Inc. to design and produce a wine bottle with elaborate decorations for its Crafters Union brand. The 750ml Claret wine bottle with 360-degree decoration, made by Ardagh Group, has excellent shelf appeal in a high-quality, environmentally friendly glass bottle.
  • March 2022- The partnership between Winpak Ltd. and PureCycle Technologies Inc. PurCycle Technologies Inc. will supply Winpak with Ultra-Pure Recycled (UPR) Polypropylene (PP) from its newest facility, which will be built in Augusta, Georgia, as part of this agreement. Winpak's partnership with PureCycle will also enable the business to provide brands with sustainable packaging solutions made of PCR polypropylene and, ultimately, give consumers recyclable goods that can avoid landfills.

Top Key Players

Ardagh Group S.A. Amcor PLC, Winpak Limited Dart Container Corporation Snapsil Corporation Transcontinental Inc Others

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big is the single-use packaging market?
The global single-use packaging market size was valued at USD 38.60 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 64.39 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.85% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Europe has the highest growth rate in the single-use packaging market.
Key verticals adopting the single-use packaging market include: Ardagh Group S.A., Amcor PLC, Winpak Limited, Dart Container Corporation, Snapsil Corporation, and Transcontinental Inc.
Compact, portable, and convenient packing is the key driver for the growth of the single-use packaging market.
New trend in online food delivery is one of the upcoming key trends in the single-use packaging market.

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