You’ve probably seen them dozens, if not hundreds of times, in your refrigerator or elsewhere around the house: those stiff, usually dark-colored plastic trays and bulk packaging containers, holding food or beverages, toys or other consumer goods. These items are made of the aptly-named Rigid Plastic, usually high-density polyethylene, which has become one of the fast-growing segments in the plastic industry. In fact, one marketing study predicts the rigid plastics segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.72% in the next four years.
Rigid Plastic is light, inexpensive, very mold-able and non-corrosive, which makes it the ideal choice for packaging. It can be manufactured by extrusion molding, injection molding or blow molding.
With the exception of plastic soda bottles, Rigid Plastic wasn’t recycled for decades. But that started changing in 2009 when the Association of Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) came up with a protocol for doing so, and began promoting the practice across the country. Today, hundreds of municipalities have started recycling Rigid Plastic.
The popularity of biodegradable rigid plastic packaging is also fueling market growth. As countries all over the world enact ever more stringent environmental regulations, manufacturers are are increasingly turning to biodegradable plastics to avoid paying hefty penalties and land-fill fees.
Rigid Plastic has a host of advantages vis-a’-vis other materials. In fact, with a low cost per unit, and endless application possibilities, Rigid Plastic is becoming the “go-to” packaging for many vendors. It even helps with marketing because of its ability to take on innovative and attractive designs.
One of the biggest challenges facing Rigid Plastic today is the fragmentation of the global market. Many of the major buyers world-wide are micro, small and medium-sized companies, whose business models vary significantly from large corporations. That’s because larger businesses tend to be capital-intensive and interested more in value-added activities, such as production, product innovation, and maintaining a high-volume supply chain, all of which raises the cost of production per unit of Rigid Plastic.
The Global Rigid Plastic Packaging market can be divided into three distinct segments based on the type of product which is manufactured: 1)Rigid Plastic Bottles; 2)Rigid Plastic Bulk Containers and 3)Rigid Plastic Blisters. Industries which choose Rigid Plastic include Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical/Healthcare and Consumer Packaged Goods.