Building on a decade that has seen the number of plastic closures sold per year increase by 60bn to 200bn, Ceresana Research predicts that revenues from the total European plastic caps and closures sector will increase from €1.7bn to more than €2bn a year by 2017. This translates into continuous growth at an average rate of 2.3 percent per year.
The most significant growth is expected to come from certain sub-sectors of the beverage sector, such as beer, yoghurt, milk products, and sports drinks. And in terms of materials, Ceresana said polypropylene and polyethylene are being used increasingly for closures.
Ceresana spokesperson Martin Ebner told this publication that much of this growth is anticipated “because glass is still being replaced by plastics, mainly for reasons of weight (sometimes also for security reasons, e.g. as glass bottles are prohibited in soccer stadiums and trains).”
East versus west
Within Europe, the strongest growth in production and consumption of plastic caps and closures is expected in Russia, Poland and Turkey. In these emerging markets, manufacturers are investing above all in mass-produced, standard products such as screw-caps for PET bottles.
Meanwhile, in Western Europe, innovation is the key to unlocking growth opportunities. Producers are focusing, for example, on complex closures with seals and built-in dosing devises for medications.
Oliver Kutsch, owner of Ceresana, said: “Although inexpensive and standard products are being applied in many sectors, the trend towards more complex closure systems remains unbroken.
“Above all, more functionality, better technical characteristics, and convenience are in demand, in addition to weight reduction, energy saving during production, and recycling.”
Ceresana is an industrial research organisation covering various markets such as plastics, packaging, chemicals, and construction materials.