The global single-use plastic packaging market size was valued at USD 22.59 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 35.09 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.66% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Single-use plastic packages are disposable plastic that can be thrown away or recycled after use. Plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, water bottles, and most food packaging are examples of these goods. These packages are readily available; therefore, this can be counted as one of the most significant selling points, reducing the cost to end-users. Some of the key benefits of the single-use plastic package are its safety and hygiene; it extends the life of perishable and is easy to distribute and display in grocery stores.
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
For many businesses using the online food delivery technique, getting rid of single-use plastics is costly and time-consuming due to expenses, operational difficulties, and different state rules. Additionally, restaurants generate roughly three-fourths of all disposable packaging in the US, including plastic cutlery, and use more than 36 billion disposable utensils annually. However, the restrictions on single-use plastics may force food delivery service providers to switch to alternative materials. The market for online food delivery services is expected to grow temporarily. As a result, the single-use plastic market is also likely to flourish.
Single-use plastics are a commercially successful packaging material because of their flexibility, strength, lightness, stability, impermeability, and ease of sterilization. Despite all the environmental concerns associated with single-use plastic packaging, it is steadfast. Aluminum, glass, and metals, which are more likely to be recycled, can all be used in place of plastic, but they usually weigh a lot more and need more energy to process. On the other hand, paper-based materials are lighter but may not be ideal for the complex requirements of food and beverage packaging.
All governments are enacting rules to reduce environmental waste and enhance waste management procedures in response to public concerns about packaging waste, mainly plastic packaging waste. 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 passed. Regarding sustainability, the European region has advanced far more than other regions. The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD), which came into force on July 3, 2021, outlawed common disposable plastic goods like straws and cutlery that single-use plastic packages can swap out for more environmentally friendly options.
By region, the global single-use plastic packaging market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and South America.
Asia-Pacific commands the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.34% during the projected period. Due to numerous end-use industry groups, Asia-Pacific is one of the leading investors and adopters of single-use packaging. The regional market is expected to increase due to the expanding trend of pre-packaged meals, the rise in restaurants and supermarkets, and the rising consumption of bottled water and other beverages. Asia-Pacific is also a significant producer and consumer of single-use plastic.
While some countries are heading toward banning single-use plastics, many emerging countries still rely on them. Asia-Pacific uses plastic packaging bags made primarily of polyethylene (PP) for express delivery. South Asia has been ranked the least integrated region globally due to barriers preventing the free flow of capital, products, services, and people. However, several countries have taken the lead in the region in the fight against marine plastic pollution, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. China is one of the significant markets for plastic packaging, but the legal restrictions are anticipated to make market expansion difficult.
North America is estimated to account for USD 11.54 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.29%. The United States and Canada make up the region of North America, which is distinguished by a convoluted usage of single-use plastics. Single-use plastics are widely used in several end-user sectors in the countries due to their affordability and versatility. The fastest-growing type of packaging in the United States is flexible plastic packaging (FPP). FPP is more economical, uses less plastic than rigid packaging, is lighter, and has a reduced production environmental footprint. Retailers still choose Clamshell packaging over rigid plastic packaging because the goods are visible on both sides, they can be hung or freestanding, and it is more challenging to shoplift because the package is larger than the contents inside. It is more robust, less expensive to build, and lighter than cardboard or other alternatives, conserving energy during transit.
Numerous efforts that promote the reuse of single-use plastic in the area are taking shape in Europe, all of which align with the global aims of sustainability. In Europe, the unusually high use of single-use plastic bottles for packaging and bottling drinking water is under scrutiny. Several organizations are working to reduce marine litter by opposing this practice and collecting and removing these bottles from different water bodies. As a result of the widespread outrage against the use of single-use plastic packaging, several countries in the region have enacted or proposed legislation limiting its use in various situations. For instance, in June 2021, the European Union outlawed plastic packaging for food and beverage containers, drinking cups, and beverage containers that frequently wash up on the continent's coasts.
The global single-use plastic packaging market is segmented by material, product type, end-users, and region.
By material, the global single-use plastic packaging market includes Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polyethylene (PE), and Others.
Polythene (PE) holds the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.36% during the forecast period. Polyethylene is a lightweight, durable thermoplastic with a variable crystalline structure and is one of the most widely produced plastics worldwide. Polyethylene is used to make products from plastic bags and sheet wraps for packaging purposes. The base material of polyethylene bags is ethylene, a derivative of natural gas or petroleum. These plastic resins undergo polymerization, which links a series of monomers from a polymer or plastic.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is highly recyclable and is the primary material used to make the majority of plastic water and soft drink bottles. However, as their use spreads worldwide, attempts to collect and recycle the bottles are falling behind, allowing them to pollute the oceans. In quick service restaurants, single-use food service items are made of plastic, such as rigid polyethylene terephthalate.
By product type, the global single-use plastic packaging market includes Bottles, Clamshells, Trays, Cups, & Lids, and Others.
Bottle holds the leading market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.59% during the forecast period. Plastic single-use beverage bottles are among the most widely used forms of beverage containers. Some of the most popular varieties of beverage bottles are made from plastic. PET bottles are becoming more common in a variety of product categories. PET bottles are becoming more and more well-liked by high-end consumers because of their low price, lightweight, and continual advances in printing technology.
Trays, Cups, & Lids hold a significant market share. Carrying food in disposable food trays with covers or coverings is simple. Spills are much less likely, and the food is kept clean and uncontaminated. Over paper or tricky plastic trays, disposable polystyrene trays provide several benefits. In comparison to other forms of packaging, it is simple to manually or automatically pack, light, much more rigid, competitively priced, and much brighter looking. It protects packed contents more effectively by preventing softening during use or storage.
By end-user, the global single-use plastic packaging market includes Quick-service Restaurants, Full-service Restaurants, Institutional, and Retail.
The Quick-service Restaurant segment is the largest market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.88% during the forecast period. Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) focus on providing affordable food alternatives. These establishments differ from regular restaurants because they emphasize self-service and provide limited table service. Rigid polystyrene (PS), expanded polystyrene (EPS), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polylactic acid make up the majority of the single-use plastic foodservice items used in QSRs (PLA).
Full-service Restaurants with specialized meal courses include fine dining establishments. Numerous full-service eateries in different locations provide excellent food and service. These eateries are typically found in five-star hotels in major cities. There are fine dining and casual dining establishments among the full-service eateries.