January 30, 2023

Sustainability is the key theme in PP 

A new report and database from AMI Consulting published in March 2022 quantify and analyse the European PP market and examine the most recent industry dynamics.

Rhian O’Connor, Senior Consultant and Katrina Purser, Senior Research Analyst are the authors of the 2022 editions of AMI’s Polypropylene Markets Europe report and Polypropylene Processors Europe database which are the result of an extensive research programme, providing a detailed independent assessment of this industry. The report revises and updates the size and growth of demand for different applications and countries with Europe as well as looking at the key themes and supply picture. The database gives a detailed list of buyers and divides demand by application and country.

The key theme for the last two years has been Covid-19 with some positive impacts on sectors like hygiene and packaging and some negative impacts on sectors including automotive. In 2021, the total volume of PP (including compounds but excluding recyclate) in the European market was 10 million.

AMI believe the key theme of the next five years to be sustainability. Single use plastics legislation could impact the rigid and flexible packaging markets, with consumers looking to turn away from plastic packaging. However, there are limited alternatives, and we believe legislation will instead look to simplification/redesign of packaging – using monomaterials and increasing recyclability.

Recyclate should continue to take share, but we believe the impact will be relatively limited on PP over the next five years – effectively depressing demand only 0.7%pa. The main reason for this low impact – much less than industry anticipate is availability of recyclate. Most consumers interviewed were working to have the technical knowledge to put recyclate in their product. Everything from fibres, compounds to food-grade packaging. The database gives a detailed overview of buyers of PP recyclate.

The market is more uncertain now, than at any other edition of this report. Challenges include the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, new standards on single use plastics and sustainability, polymer shortages, logistics challenges and changes to retail channels. Finally, the war in Ukraine is adding further complications to logistics and cost pressure.

As a result, we believe it is even more crucial to look at individual markets – whether geographical, by application, technology, or grade – to monitor the growth of the European polypropylene market. The report and its expert analysis, as well as the database.

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