A rigid plastic material is defined as a material that exhibits no elastic deformation and perfect plastic deformation.Thus, the rigid plastics cannot be easily squeezed and are generally self-supporting and free-standing.
Rigid plastics are well suited for packaging as these are lightweight, break- and shatter-proof, and easy on pocket.Rigid plastics including caps, closures, cups, and bottles are used for various packaging related applications.
From caps and closures for cosmetic products, simple tubs and trays for yogurt to plastic bottles used in pharmaceuticals, the application of rigid plastics are wide and extensive. The production process for the manufacturing of rigid Plastic Products is equally wide and is different for each product type, ranging from extrusion and blow molding to injection molding.
There are various factors that have promoted the use of rigid plastic packaging products among the consumers.Increasing demand from end-use industries such food & beverage and pharmaceuticals, changing consumer preferences for convenient packaging, and new product and technology innovations have supported the market growth.
The food and beverage manufacturers have focused on efficient packaging systems that would ensure safe food supply and long-term storage, thus extending a product's shelf life.This makes the food & beverages industry as one of the biggest users of rigid plastic packaging.
In addition, rigid plastic products such as vials also find application in pharmaceutical industry.The products used to store pharmaceutical products should fulfill the necessary functional requirements such as chemical compatibility, hygiene, and sustainability.
As the rigid plastic products such as fitments or vials are chemically unreactive, they do not react with the drugs contained in them and, hence, preserve the formulation of the drug.
Moreover, with the population turning more conscious and aware about the ingredients they consume in their food, innovative trends such as smart packaging seems to further uplift the rigid plastics packaging market.Smart packaging includes the incorporation of microchips in food packages to provide accurate information about packaged product.
Furthermore, intelligent packaging, which involves the use of temperature indicators to provide information about the history of package and quality of food, further expands the innovation standards of the rigid plastic packaging market.
Although plastics, with its ever-expanding application areas, have delivered many benefits to the society, the environmental impact associated with its production and disposal has raised serious concerns.Moreover, the emergence and preference of flexible packaging is restraining the market for rigid packaging.
This is primarily due to the fact that flexible packaging uses fewer resources and their process of manufacturing also consumes less energy compared to that by rigid plastics.The market of rigid plastics packaging is fragmented with numerous global as well as local participants.
Acquisition and mergers to expand the customer base and strengthen the market position has been a significant strategy adopted by the participants in the market.For instance, in November 2016, Amcor acquired the North American rigid plastics blow molding operations of Sonoco Products Company.
As a part of the acquisition, Amcor gained control over six production sites in the US and one in Canada, which significantly enhanced Amcor's product offerings.
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