No Cap on the Demand For Plastic Caps & Closures!
Take a moment and examine the top of the next beverage bottle, drug vial or tooth paste tube you pick up. Odds are it’s topped off with a plastic cap or other kind of plastic seal. That’s no accident: plastic caps and closures, formed by plastic injection molding, dominate the market. U.S. demand for caps and closures is expected to increase 4.0% to $9.5 billion in 2014, reaching 275 billion units.
Needless to say, that’s welcome news for those in our industry. Plastic caps and closures, which made up 79% of unit demand in 2009, will post above-average unit and value advances, mirroring penetration by plastic containers into numerous markets. Plastic cap and closure demand is being driven by the long-term shift in consumer packaging away from glass and metal containers to plastic alternatives.
But that’s not all: the “marriage” of plastic caps with glass containers and the use of such caps on paper-based beverage packaging will boost growth as well, according to the latest figures. However, that increase will decelerate from the meteoric 1999-2009 performance, mirroring the already deep penetration of plastic containers in most markets.
Moving forward, growth will be fueled by greater use of more expensive dispensing systems and child-resistant closures. Further gains will come from the continued popularity of single-serving containers, especially in the beverage category, and increasing use of plastic containers for products formerly distributed in glass and metal containers.
Beverages, which represent over 50% of demand, are the largest market for caps and closures. Through 2014, beverage applications will show sub-par gains based on weak consumption outlooks for major segments such as carbonated soft drinks and beer, and a sharp drop in demand for bottled water. Pharmaceutical caps and closures will boast the fastest gains through 2014, helped by increasing demand among older segments of the population and the need to adhere to regulations concerning the child-resistant, senior-friendly and security features of pharmaceutical packaging.
So caps off to the lowly plastic cap! You are everywhere… and deservedly so!