Press Releases


AMI, Bristol, 18/04/08 – Packaging is the largest market for thermoplastics. It accounts for nearly half of all polymers processed in Europe, which for 2007 amounted to 18.2 million tonnes of material in a business worth an estimated EUR 54 billion.  In volume terms plastics is estimated to account for 21% of all packaging materials, while in value terms it holds a higher share of the market at over 30%.


The use of plastics in packaging is reviewed in AMI’s latest market report, launched this week in time for the Interpack exhibition. It provides a comprehensive and concise overview of the European market summarising the major developments within flexible and rigid packaging.


According to AMI the market for packaging plastics has reached a state of maturity in Western Europe, with regional growth slowing to a level roughly in line with GDP.  By way of contrast, many eastern European markets are experiencing dynamic growth driven by lower labour costs, rising consumer spending and recent accession to the EU.  Even so the markets of Western Europe still accounted for 89% of polymer demand for use in packaging in 2007.  The largest market is in Germany, but Italy and Benelux have larger per capita demand for polymer in packaging, reflecting the presence in those countries of major export oriented processors, particularly for film and PET preforms. Within Western Europe the UK has one of the lowest per capita consumptions as a result of declining demand for polymer because of plant rationalizations and increased imports of packaging.




The market within the Central European countries of Poland, Hungary, Czech and Slovak Republics, Baltic States, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania has only really been able to achieve significant growth since the early 1990s following the collapse of the former Communist regimes, driven by investments from the leading global food and consumer product manufacturers such as Unilever, Danone, Procter & Gamble and many others. The recent growth in chains of Western-owned super- and hypermarkets such as Tesco and Carrefour in Central Europe have also influenced consumer choices and expectations. Strongest growth has occurred in the use of PET for bottles and in PE stretch films and packaging films. The report contains an in-depth, country-by-country analysis and also includes AMI’s predictions of the way the European market will develop over the next 5 years.




One of the major challenges for the plastics packaging industry in Europe is the rising cost of raw materials. AMI’s report explores the industry response to increasing oil prices and the related pressure to reduce the environmental impact of packaging polymers. The developing range of biomass-derived polymers is reviewed in the study along with assessing the trends for traditional thermoplastics in packaging applications.




The main market served by plastics packaging is the food and drink industry.  Nearly all types of plastics materials find some application in this sector, which is estimated to account for 70% of all polymers used in packaging. The major non-food packaging markets where plastics are used are industrial products, household chemicals, cosmetics/toiletries and medical/pharmaceutical.




AMI’s market report on plastics in packaging can be viewed on their stand at Interpack EN1/06. The report will normally cost EUR 250 but during Interpack can be purchased for just EUR 100.






AMI’s market report on plastics in packaging



Regine Futter

+44 (0)117 924 9442

+44 (0)117 989 2128





April 2008



No. of pages:





A4 paperback




EUR 250