Plastic Stabilizer: Healthy solutions to the packaging industry

Published On: February 2018


In this era wherein each and every stratum of society, corner of the world and lives are influenced by emerging technologies, innovations that fulfill the needs of the healthy lifestyle will be admirable. The bitter truth is that the technology is a double-edged sword. For an instance, the packaging industry, which started its journey with simple polymers such as Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP) and Polyvinylchloride (PVC), among others. Initially, the negative impacts on the human health and the surrounding ecosystem were unknown to the society. As the human started exploiting the technology by resting on the chariot of luxury, the harms to the mother earth and health became tangible. This necessitated the innovation in polymeric materials, which eventually lead to the development of engineered plastics, polymers, composites and numerous bio-based (paper) products to feed the ever hunger of the global packaging industry. Meanwhile, the technology to buttress the impact mitigation was taking the pace of which plastic additives are the results. They simply alter the properties of the plastic or a polymer to cater various end users ranging from packaging and consumer goods to agriculture industry.

Stabilizers that simplifying the applicability of plastics in major industries

Plastic additives are any minor components added to the plastic to modify and enhance some of its properties. The end product offers a number of benefits such as lower glass transition temperature of plastic, which make it softer, fillers to increase density and make plastic cheaper, oil components to improve rheology of plastic, and flame retardants to enhance thermal stability of a plastic. An additive is selected on the basis of types of plastic additive and application the plastic is going to be deployed in. The major types of additive for plastic include plasticizers, stabilizers, fillers, flame retardants, antioxidants. Among them, the stabilizer is an important additive, which is used to prevent the various oxidation, chain scission and uncontrolled recombination, and other cross-linking reactions that are caused by photo-oxidation of plastic materials. The plastic materials get weathered due to the direct or indirect impact of heat and ultraviolet light. This leads to developing a value-added product with improved durability and other desired properties. The types of plastic additives can be summed up into heat stabilizer, a light stabilizer, and antioxidant. Heat stabilizers are mainly used for construction products made of polyvinyl chloride, for instance, window profiles, pipes, and cable ducts. Light stabilizers, for instance, HALS, are needed for polypropylene and polyethylene. The plastic stabilizers are majorly used in a number of industries including packaging, construction, automotive, and other consumer products.

Market scenario: growth of end users propelling the market to garner higher growth

Growing consumer awareness regarding food contamination and adverse impacts of unpacked food products on health is posing as an important driver of the global plastic stabilizer market. The focus of consumers is changing from sedentary to a healthier lifestyle, not only when it comes to eating healthy packaged food but also using the products packaged in an attractive and appealing packaging. One of the major factors driving the growth of the global plastic stabilizers is enhanced usage of eco-friendly packaging. The global packaging market is estimated to grow at a significantly and is likely to reach nearly USD 900 billion by the end of 2023, which is expected fuel the demand for the plastic stabilizer. Changing lifestyle of people mingled with rapid urbanization has triggered the demand for the product. This, in turn, is anticipated to propel the growth of the global plastic stabilizers market. The automotive and packaging application segments are estimated to witness a strong growth during the forecast period on account of increasing demand by the middle-class strata of society.

Trends and forces that are endangering the growth momentum of the market

The major bottleneck identified is a growing environmental concern, which inviting stringent regulatory measures and limiting the production of plastics. The lead-based are inviting rigorous regulation in order to phase out the use of this harmful chemical. Nevertheless, ongoing research in the field of green chemistry and increasing reusability of the plastic material would help to find the way through this bottleneck in the coming years.

Competition scenario: tier-1 players are holding over 50% global market share, while the rest is scattered among relatively smaller players

As per our analysis, the market consists of several leading players, which are enjoying a considerable share of the market and garnering substantial revenue each year in this particular product segment. The prominent manufacturers are operating in the market: BASF SE (Germany), Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd (South Korea), Clariant AG (Switzerland), Akzo Nobel N.V (the Netherlands), Evonik Industries AG (Germany), ADEKA CORPORATION (Japan), Solvay SA (Belgium), INDOFIL INDUSTRIES LIMITED (India), Bruggemann Group (Germany), and Baerlocher GmbH (Germany), among others. Among these players, the major players holding over half of the global production are BASF SE, Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd., Solvay AG, Clariant AG, Evonik Industries AG. These companies are adopting various business tactics such as capacity expansion, product launch, and supply agreements to retain their dominance over the forecast period.