SCOPE AND FORMAT
This BCC Research study provides in-depth coverage of many of the most important technological, economic, political, and environmental considerations in the U.S. barrier packaging polymer industry. It primarily is a study of U.S. markets. But because of the increasingly global nature of polymer and packaging chemistry it touches on some noteworthy international activities, primarily those having an impact on the U.S. market, such as imports/exports and foreign firms operating in this country.
We analyze and forecast market estimates for barrier packaging plastic resins in volume in pounds. Our base market estimate year is 2011, and we forecast market growth for a five-year period to 2016. All market figures are rounded to the nearest million pounds and all growth rates are compounded (signified as compound annual growth rates, or CAGRs). Because of this rounding, some growth rates may not agree exactly with figures in the market tables; this is especially so with small volumes and their differences. All market volumes are at the manufacturer or producer level.
This report is segmented into nine chapters, of which this introduction is the first.
The Summary encapsulates our findings and conclusions, and includes a summary table that summarizes the major barrier packaging resins. It is the place where busy executives can find key elements of the study in summary format.
An Overview follows, starting with an introduction to the petrochemical industry, the source of all these barrier packaging polymers. Then we discuss the plastic resin industries and focus on barrier packaging. We conclude with a discussion of barrier packaging materials and structures, with emphasis on plastic barrier resins. Our intent is to introduce readers to the field of polymers, barrier packaging, and barrier packaging resins.
The next chapter is the first of two devoted to market analysis. Here, we discuss, estimate, and forecast markets for barrier packaging plastics by major resin type or class. This discussion includes some major commodity resins, such as polyolefins, that find use as structural packaging resins; however, since these are not primarily barrier resins (and thus outside our scope) we do not attempt to estimate their wide and diffuse markets. We start this chapter with an overall market estimate and forecast for the major types of barrier packaging resins, for base year 2011 and forecast year 2016. Then, in each section and subsection, we describe individual barrier resin types in more detail, discuss their important applications in barrier packaging, and estimate and forecast their markets in greater detail. The types of barrier resins that we cover and forecast include EVOH, polychlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE) fluoropolymer, nitrile (AN-MA) copolymers, nylons, thermoplastic (TP) polyesters, PVdC, tie-layer resins, and vapor-permeable films.
Our discussion and market analysis of vapor-permeable barrier resins and systems is included as an interesting sidelight to barrier resin chemistry, since the very term “vapor-permeable barrier” sounds like an oxymoron. These structures are designed for selective permeation, meaning the some gases should pass through the structure but others should not.
In this “markets by resin type” chapter we also discuss some newer and more experimental or developmental barrier materials and systems, but do not try market analyses since these products still are experimental or their markets too low and/or diffuse.
The next chapter discusses and forecasts markets by barrier resin applications. We have placed applications into three specific major groups: food (by far the largest segment), chemical and industrial products, and healthcare products packaging.
The next chapter is devoted to technology, starting with some basic plastic resin chemistry, manufacture, and properties of plastics used in barrier packaging. Next, we go to polymerization technologies. We then cover other important aspects of polymer technology including fabrication of rigid and flexible structures, polymer orientation, barrier technology, some competing barrier materials, food processing and packaging and additional new developments in barrier packaging. One of the most important more recent developments has been work on ways to increase the barrier properties of PET, primarily the attempt to develop a really good PET-based barrier plastic beer bottle.
The next chapter covers the barrier packaging resin industry structure, with emphasis on major domestic producers and suppliers, horizontal and vertical integration, market and product entry and differentiation factors, and other topics. Compounders, converters, and molders are important links in the plastics production chain. We briefly discuss and analyze some international aspects of the barrier resin business, including its global nature, major foreign-owned supplier companies that operate in the United States, and imports and exports.
The next chapter is devoted to some environmental, regulatory, and public policy issues that affect barrier plastic packaging. These include waste disposal and recycling, federal laws and regulations, and the all-important public perceptions of plastics and plastic packaging.
Our last narrative chapter consists of profiles of many supplier companies that BCC Research considers to be among the most important and/or best representatives of this business.
The Appendix is a glossary of some important terms, abbreviations, acronyms, etc. used in the chemical, polymer, and packaging industries.
We note again that some topics and materials covered in the text of this report are not included in our market estimate and forecast tables. We include these topics and materials for completeness. However, they either are really outside the market scope of this study (such as natural film, cellophane, and some oxygen scavengers), too new to have yet developed a measurable commercial market (such as some nonpolymeric barrier coatings and films), or whose markets are too large and diffuse to forecast the barrier segment with any certainty (such as the use of polyolefins in barrier packaging as structural and secondary barriers). We include these materials and concepts to give the reader as complete coverage as possible, not only of new developments in barrier packaging plastics, but also other materials than can extend shelf life and/or otherwise affect markets for barrier resins.
For consistency in style and format, registered trade names are usually indicated by capitalizing the initial letter of the name; generic names are lowercase. Because many chemical names are long and complicated, we often use abbreviations, acronyms, or chemical formulae. Many of these, such as HDPE, PVC, PVdC, PCTFE, etc., represent common polymers.
All chemical elements and compounds can be designated by chemical symbols and formulae. After introducing the element or compound, we often use symbols such as HCl for hydrochloric acid or hydrogen chloride. Our glossary at the end of this report contains definitions and explanations of many of the most important abbreviations and acronyms.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. J. Charles Forman is a research analyst for BCC Research covering polymers and chemicals. His work in industry included 21 years at Abbott Laboratories in R&D and manufacturing management. Dr. Forman has researched and written more than 50 multiclient market research reports on a variety of subjects ranging from building construction materials and spectroscopy, to several studies on plastic packaging. He has been writing for BCC Research for over 15 years. His educational credentials include an S.B. from MIT and M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, all in chemical engineering. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.)
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