The outlook for plastic packaging markets in Germany and France is significantly brighter compared to recent years according to a survey by Asterès conducted towards the end of 2015.
In the past, problems arose in both countries due to the high volatility in raw material prices, caused by the Euro depreciation and higher levels of exports to outside the EU, which in turn reduced supply in Europe.
Turnover from plastic packaging in France increased by 2.6% in 2014 to €7.8 billion and in Germany, production volumes increased by 2.7% and turnover by 2.9% totaling €14 billion.
With support from Elipso, the French Plastic and Flexible Packaging Association, and IK, the German Association for Plastic Packaging and Films, the two countries are tackling the industry’s issues head on.
As is the situation in many countries, the main challenge for the plastic packaging industries within France and Germany surround the achievement of a circular economy. With rigorous EU recycling and environmental targets in place, France and Germany are focused on issues such as reduction at source through lightweighting initiatives, achieving recycling targets, improving packaging recyclability by the reduction of additives and using more recycled, bio-based and compostable materials.
France and Germany aim to achieve a 45% recycling rate in 2020 for all packaging (both household and industrial) and to send zero plastic to landfill by 2025. Energy recovery will continue to play a big part in making this a reality.
Plastic packaging producers in France expect their commercial performance to improve in 2016 in both volume and value terms. However, uncertainties over raw material prices remain high. Whilst Germany’s plastic packaging industry could be affected by rising energy costs due to its energy transition, economic forecasts show that the German industry will be well positioned in 2016 to meet its challenges successfully.
Overall, the two nations feel that plastic plays a leading role in every part in peoples lives. Packaging in particular has made an essential contribution to this success. One in three tons of converted plastic is used to make packaging. In particular, plastic packaging’s protective function and lower weight guarantees long-term use by consumers and its potential is far from exhausted.
Thanks to substantial innovation capacity, productivity and flexibility, European plastic packaging producers remain at the top of the world industrial market.