Plastic foam is synthetic resins, which can be changed to sponge-like mass, acting as close-cell structure or open-cell structure. The plastic foam generally includes urethanes, polyurethanes, vinyl, cellulose acetate, phenolics, etc. Generally, most of these plastics are derivatives of crude oil, whereas some of them are of natural origin. Plastic foams find applications in the number of products depending upon their characteristics.
Plastic foams are classified on the basis of density, flexibility, etc. Low-density foams find applications in the packaging industry, insulation, and manufacturing of bedding and upholstery. High-density foams are used for footwear soles, simulated wood, and automotive interiors. Moreover, they are also used automotive exteriors.
Global plastic foams market size is expected to expand significantly, registering a CAGR of 4.92% during the forecast period (2019-2027). Growing use of plastic foam in various industries is expected to increase its demand and thereby support growth of the market. Growing population around the globe is fueling growth of the construction industry. This, in turn, is expected to increase the demand for plastic foam and hence drive the market growth during the forecast period. Furthermore, growing awareness regarding environmental concerns and stringent government regulations has increased the demand for bio-degradable foams.
Moreover, key players around the world are investing heavily in research and development to produce innovative products, so as to reduce adverse effects on the environment. All these factors are expected to increase the demand for plastic foams and thereby boost the market growth in the near future. Plastic foams find application in packaging, transportation, perishable food, and electric equipment. Rising use of plastic foams in these industries is expected to increase its demand and hence accelerate the market growth during the forecast period.
However, the global plastic foams market is expected to witness restrains during the forecast period. This is due to growing government regulations on plastic foams. Although manufacturers are producing biodegradable foams, their manufacturing cost remains higher than petroleum-based plastic foams.
Market Regional Analysis
Asia Pacific is expected to account for a significant market share in the global plastic foams market during the forecast period. This is owing to increasing demand for plastic foams from the construction industry from emerging economies such as India and China. Growing population in India and China has accelerated growth of the construction industry and hence, it is expected to drive the market growth. Moreover, North America and Europe are expected to show significant market growth during the forecast period, owing to high presence of major players
Major players operating in the global plastic foams market include Crest Foam Industries, Carpenter Company, BASF SE., Dolco Packaging, Certain Teed, and Dow Chemicals.
In 2018, DS smith plastics introduced new extruded polypropylene packaging line for pharmaceutical applications in France. The new AkyPure comprises hygienic, fiber-free and moist-resistant packaging solutions. The solution are manufactured in compliance with international good manufacturing practices (GMP). The new line launched by name such as AkyPure Tray, AkyPure Box and AkyPure bulk container.
In October 2019, the Zotefoams plc. introduced its ReZorce technology to produce a range of recyclable high density polyethylene monomaterials which offering moisture and oxygen barrier properties for the food industry. This new technology involves a multilayer HDPE film with foamed layers critical in providing moisture vapor transmission and oxygen barrier properties. The technology uses combination of resin and foam layers to create a cost-effective barrier packaging that uses up to 20% less material due to the foam structure.
In April, 2019, the 3A composites launched its first PET foam core product ‘AIREX T92’ based on recycled plastic bottles. The original Airex T92 core material is made of PET plastic. It can also produce from recycled PET plastics bottles which is more environmentally sustainable.