Mon December 21, 2015

Jacob Barron 
Tel: 202-974-5249  |

December 21, 2015

Plastics are Tough, Yet Capable of Screening the Tiniest Particle of Dust

WASHINGTON - Plastic’s unique properties make it a leading packaging choice among manufacturers who desire environmentally-sensible, inexpensive product options. In an exclusive report released today, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association concluded that the current fast-paced, environmentally-conscious consumer market will continue to drive the demand for innovative plastic packaging.

“Packaging Market Watch: Plastics Packaging Wraps it Up” is SPI’s third report in a series of in-depth studies on how the consumer market impacts various segments of the plastics industry. The report incorporates the expertise of Ken Gronbach, a multi-generational marketing expert and author; the Society of Plastics Engineers; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and others.  Together, their research and data provide the backdrop critical to understanding the infinite benefits that plastics offer the $700 billion global packaging industry. Plastics account for one-third or $250 billion of the packaging industry, which is the largest single market for U.S. plastics.

“Plastic packaging is ubiquitous due to its many advantages over other material choices,” William R. Carteaux, SPI’s president and CEO, said.  “Plastic products are lighter, use less energy to produce and transport, and have multiple recycling and recovery options. Through cutting-edge science that’s produced bioplastics and other innovative applications, the plastics industry has answered the call of consumers who are deeply committed to reducing their carbon footprint.

“Plastics are tough enough to withstand the stresses of transportation, yet capable of screening out even the smallest particle of dust,” Carteaux said. “If plastics were not used for packaging, something else would be – and the obvious candidates are paper, cardboard, glass and metal.”

Other types of packaging would require 64 million metric tons of material, increasing energy waste by 80 percent, according to the Franklin Associates, a Kansas-based research firm quoted in Market Watch. The result would be a 130 percent increase in the carbon footprint.

Therefore, polymers consistently substitute for other materials in packaging because of their weight, strength, design flexibility and low cost. The global polymer industry is expected to grow with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.9 percent over 2015-2020. The demand for polymers is driven by growth in end use markets, like packaging, mainly from emerging economies.

SPI’s Market Watch series examines end markets and growing world economies through the lens of demographics, public policy, technology trends, and resource issues.  “Packaging Market Watch: Plastics Packaging Wraps it Up” may be accessed by visiting SPI’s website at  Previous reports on Automotive & Transportation and Healthcare & Medical Devices are available here. In 2016, SPI plans to issue reports that discuss plastics’ position in Building & Construction, and Automotive Recycling.


Founded in 1937, SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association promotes growth in the $427 billion U.S. plastics industry. Representing nearly one million American workers in the third largest U.S. manufacturing industry, SPI delivers legislative and regulatory advocacy, market research, industry promotion and the fostering of business relationships and zero waste strategies. SPI also owns and produces the international NPE trade show. All profits from NPE are reinvested into SPI’s industry services. Find SPI online at and

"From resin suppliers and equipment makers to processors and brand owners, SPI is proud to represent all facets of the U.S. plastics industry," said William R. Carteaux, president and CEO, SPI. "Our most recent economic reports show that the plastics industry as a whole is resilient, and has come through the recession significantly better than other U.S. manufacturing sectors."