Plastics for Barrier Packaging

Published - Jun 2005| Analyst - Charles Forman| Code - PLS014D
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Report Highlights

  • The barrier plastic packaging industry in the U.S. amounted to about 5.8 billion pounds in 2004 and should rise at an overall 8.1% average annual growth rate (AAGR) to about 8.6 billion pounds in 2009.
  • Barrier resins make up nearly 89% of the market and will continue to do so through 2009.
  • Permeable films will grow only slightly faster than barrier resins and will represent a 759 million pound market in 2009.
  • Tie layer resins (adhesive resins used to bond dissimilar resins together) will rise at an AAGR of only 5.5% over the period to just over 200 million pounds.


Packaging and plastics used in packaging are seen virtually everywhere in modern developed society. Most of the goods the public buys in developed societies are packaged, as are an increasing number in developing countries. Barrier packaging, if the term is defined to mean packaging of all types, has been available for some time. It protects products from infiltration (or in some cases, exfiltration, the passing of materials out of the container) of contaminants, flavor, color, odor, etc., as well as preserves the contents. Glass and metal containers have been used for many years and certainly qualify as barrier packages.

Packaging is the single largest end user of plastic resins in the U.S. For many years, packaging has consumed more than one-quarter of all the resins used in any year in the U.S. This BCC study looks at plastic barrier packaging and the plastic resins that provide these barriers. That is, polymers used in packaging to provide a barrier to some unwanted intrusion in or out of the package.

The report 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, i.e., imports/exports and foreign firms operating in this country.


The report contains:


  • An overview of the petrochemical industry, the source of all these barrier packaging polymers and barrier packaging itself
  • Discussion of markets and forecasts for barrier packaging plastics by major resin type or class through 2009
  • Analysis of some newer and more experimental or developmental barrier materials and systems
  • Discussions of markets and forecasts by barrier resin applications, also through 2009
  • Detailed analysis of barrier packaging technology
  • An overview of the industry’s structure
  • An environmental, regulatory and public policy issues overview
  • Profiles of many supplier companies considered to be among the most important.



We have sorted through, condensed and analyzed information from a large amount of literature and other reference materials to compile this report. Extensive searches were made of the literature and the Internet, including many of the leading trade publications as well as technical compendia and government publications. Much product and market information was obtained whenever possible from principals involved in the industry. Information for our corporate profiles was obtained primarily from the companies, especially larger, publicly owned firms. Other sources included directories, articles and Internet sites.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Sep-2000| Analyst - Charles Forman| Code - PLS014C

Report Highlights

  • The barrier plastic packaging industry in the United States is a large business. Its size is, in large part, determined by how one defines "barrier" and therefore what resin products and packaging structures are included in the scope of the analysis. We define a barrier resin as one that has low permeation to the most important gases that can penetrate and damage a packaged product. These gases primarily are oxygen and water vapor. We also include the important thermoplastic polyester, PET, because of its extensive use both as a barrier bottle resin for carbonated and other beverages and as a secondary barrier and structural substrate for many other barrier films. PET also is receiving more attention and gaining increased importance for packaging of beer in new higher barrier PET structures.
  • The total U.S. market amounted to almost four billion pounds in our base year of 1999, and will grow at an overall 9.4% AAGR for all barrier resins to more than six billion pounds over the next five years to the forecast year 2004. The value of this market, in constant 1995 dollars at bulk resin prices at the manufacturer level, increases from almost $2.8 billion to $4.3 billion.
  • Ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymers: EVOH is the highest oxygen barrier resin now produced. BCC estimates that about 64 million pounds was used in the U.S. in base year 1999, and BCC forecasts growth at an AAGR of 11% to 108 million pounds in 2004. Most EVOH is used in the U.S. for food packaging (53 million pounds in 1999), with smaller and growing barrier markets for automotive fuel tanks and healthcare packaging.


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