The global polyethylene (PE) market is anticipated to witness steady growth in the years to come. Factors, such as improving economic condition in emerging economies, expanding consumer goods industry, and low processing and feedstock cost, are expected to drive the market. In addition, investments in the infrastructure are directed towards the development of sustainable living space, sanitation, and electricity. This is, in turn, likely to have a positive impact on market growth.
Polyethylene is employed in different forms and can be utilized in the making of plastic films, plastic bags, and plastic containers, as they are easy to remold after being melted into liquid. Growing demand for packaged goods due to changing lifestyle of the consumers is also expected to boost the product demand in the years to come. Some of the common applications of PE are polyethylene tubing, polyethylene sheets, and packaging bottles. Product demand is expected to increase significantly in the years to come due to growing use of plastic container in varied end-use industries. In addition, growing world population is expected to boost the product demand in the coming years.
Growing concerns regarding environment protection and increasing health awareness are likely to restrict market growth. In addition, strict regulations regarding use of petrochemical products, increasing investment in plastic recycling projects, and demand for green products are expected to challenge the market.
However, development of bio-degradable PE is projected to create several opportunities for the market in future. Additionally, use of feedstock obtained from unconventional sources, such as shale gas, coal, and bio-based materials, will ensure availability of raw materials. Introduction of new technologies and additives for PE manufacturing is expected to improve the product performance. This will, in turn, open new avenues for the market in the years to come.
PE is used in a variety of applications, such as packaging and toys, buckets, cable coverings, lids, films and membrane manufacture, and containers bottle. Packaging holds a prominent share in the market and is anticipated to witness strong growth in the coming years due to increasing demand for packaged items among consumers. Moreover, polyethylene is available in different grades, including low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and others. HDPE occupies the largest share in the market due to its low cost of manufacturing, sturdy properties, and high demand. It is commonly used in containers, bottles, and insulators.
North America is anticipated to witness high growth in the years to come on account of improvement in the housing, retail, and automotive sector. The market in Europe is likely to expand in future on account of growing automotive and construction sectors. Middle East & Africa is expected to witness lucrative growth due to expansion of numerous plastic processing industries.
Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing regional market owing to changing consumer behavior and rapid industrialization. Growing trend of online purchase of goods among consumers in developing countries, including India and China, is likely to boost regional growth. India is anticipated to witness strong growth due to implementation of ‘Make in India’ campaign, which encourages foreign companies to set up production facilities in the country. Moreover, presence of a massive consumer base, coupled with availability of land and low labor costs, is likely to stimulate growth in the region.
Some of the leading companies operating in the polyethylene market are Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., The Dow Chemical Co., Huntsman, The Dow Chemical Co., and BASF.
For instance, Parkside developed a fully recyclable single polymer laminate called recoflex-PE that has the barrier properties and sealing performance. It is identical with commonly used laminates in the market that are not recycled. The product is made from 100% PE which allows the packaging material to be recovered through the developed carrier bag collection and recycling infrastructure.
The laminate can be used for pouches, bags, and flow wraps that require a high barrier, and are not intended for use in elevated temperatures. It can be used for the packaging of nuts and snacks, coffee, and notational and protein powders.
Research Support Specialist, USA