How are plastics faring in caps and closures? In the beverage sector, by far the single largest market globally, plastic closures (49%) overtook metal closures (48%) in 2012, driven partly by the associated gain in plastic containers and partly by further advances in closure design, materials and systems. This according to market research firm Canadean, part of U.K.-based Progressive Digital Media LLC.
Canadean’s Nov. 2013 report, Innovation in Caps and Closures, notes that lightweight packaging in general has been a strong trend in the beverage industry, and technologically advanced lightweight caps provide greater potential for energy reduction and material savings. The report also projects that innovation in plastic closures is expected to further widen the gap between plastic and metal, with 52% of the market expected to be held by plastic closures in 2017.
Meanwhile, The Freedonia Group’s Caps & Closures to 2016 report, released a year ago, projected U.S. demand will rise 4.4%/yr, that the dominant plastic cap & closure beverage segment will post above average increases, and that beverages will remain the largest market, while pharmaceuticals will be the fastest growing.
According to Freedonia, driving gains in the beverage caps & closure segment is also the continued popularity of single-serving beverages and the widening presence of plastic bottles in markets once dominated by metal cans. On the other hand, preventing faster gains will be the maturity of several large beverage applications such as beer and soft carbonated soft drinks. Competition from closureless packaging options, such as aluminum beverage cans, peelable lidding, and pouches will continue. Also, a significant deceleration in bottled water growth due to environmental concerns is projected to moderate cap and closure prospects.