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Breathable Films Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Polyethylene, Polyester, Polyurethane, Polypropylene, and Others), By Application (Hygiene & Personal Care, Food Packaging, Construction, Medical, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: July 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102318



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The global breathable films market size was USD 3.26 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 3.52 billion in 2024 to USD 6.58 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 8% during the 2024-2032 period. Asia Pacific dominated the breathable films market with a market share of 38.96% in 2023.

Breathable films are cost-effective polymer-based films that provide moisture control in various applications, including feminine hygiene, adult incontinence products, and diapers where breathability is an essential factor. They are also widely used as roofing membranes. The rise in the building & construction industry and increasing demand for food packaging shall drive the market growth.

Properties, such as improved processability, extended shelf life, a broad range of breathability levels, excellent dispersion, UV stability, and others, make the product preferable in food packaging, medical, construction, hygiene & personal care, and other end-use industries.

Few protective clothing manufacturing industries have closed or reduced their operations due to the risk of infection among workers where breathable films were widely used. This factor has temporarily declined the market's overall sales during the outbreak.

Also, the unavailability of raw materials and declining customer income have slowed the growth of the textile industry. The food and beverage industry has witnessed a dramatic impact during the pandemic.

For instance, due to consumer shortages and shutdown of sporting venues and stadiums, the food packing sector negatively impacted the acceptance of packaging across the foodservice sector, limiting the distribution of this technology in packaging applications.

Breathable Films Market Trends

Companies Offering Printed Breathable Textile Backsheet May Propel Market Growth

Trioworld offers a breathable textile backsheet that helps to protect consumers’ sensitive skin. PE laminates and films are used as barrier films for surgical drapes, baby diapers, and adult incontinence products in the hygiene industry. The company casts film with breathable calcium carbonate and is achieved by stretching the film to create micro holes. This printed breathable textile decreases environmental impact. It offers a green product portfolio and solutions.

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Breathable Films Market Growth Factors

Increasing Demand for Baby Diapers is Anticipated to Drive Market Growth

With a growing population, the demand for hygienic and comfortable diapers increases and significantly drives the diapers market. The rise in per-capita disposable income and the increasing number of working mothers are attributable to the market growth. Growing awareness regarding the hygiene maintenance of infants and technological advancements for fabrics used in diapers, breathability, and absorption capabilities has led manufacturers to develop bio-based products.

Breathability refers to a fabric’s resistance to air movement in and out of the weave or construction. Breathability in a baby diaper is essential for comfort and healthy skin. It reduces the occurrence of a baby’s diaper rash thus keeping the skin fresh and healthy. The occurrence of diaper dermatitis is related to the diapers breathability. Thus, infants wearing breathable diapers reduce the incidence of dermatitis by 38% to 50%.

Also, Imerys is a global provider of high-performance minerals used in manufacturing of breathable film for diapers. The company offers FilmLink products produced from fine grade wet ground calcium carbonate (GCC). Its porous and circular form offers optimum moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), due to which water vapor and air pass through the film, but moisture stays in the diaper.

Rising Demand for Food Packaging Applications to Boost Market Growth

The increasing demand for food packaging applications is expected to drive the breathable films market growth in the coming years. Breathable films are cost-effective polymer-based materials that offer properties, such as extended shelf life, moisture control, and a broad range of breathability levels that make them important in the food packaging industry. These products are majorly demanded in various food packaging solutions, such as rolls, packaging bags, and bags for fruits & vegetables, as they help increase shelf-life, maintain freshness, and ensure product safety by allowing sealing and smoke penetration.

The rising demand for breathable films in the food packaging application is further propelled by factors, such as increased consumer awareness about hygiene and food safety, the need for protective packaging solutions, and the growing food processing industry. Manufacturers are actively engaged in new product launches, capacity expansion, and collaborations to meet this rising demand in the food packaging sector and increase their market presence.


Volatility in Raw Materials Costs is Likely to Restrain Market Growth

The base feedstock for these films is polypropylene, polyethylene, and polyester. Most of the raw materials used in textile films production are petroleum products. Petroleum, water, air, and coal are used in polyester production, a synthetic fiber. An increase in crude oil prices is causing concern to the polyester film industry dependent on crude oil derivatives. The costs of these raw materials have been highly volatile in recent times, hampering the overall industry growth.

Breathable Films Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

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Polyethylene Segment is Likely to Dominate Market During Forecast Period Due to its Low Price and Breathable Properties

Based on type, the market is segmented into polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, polyurethane, and others.

The polyethylene (PE) segment is expected to dominate the market in the forthcoming years. PE is used in the hygiene industry due to its excellent breathable properties and low price. It is used as a barrier film for baby diapers, surgical drapes, and adult incontinence products. Growing awareness regarding hygiene products usage has augmented the demand for sanitary pads, adult incontinence products, and diapers where polyethylene-based films are used as a barrier to reduce moisture and skin infections risks. These factors are likely to drive the industry growth during the forecast period.

The polyurethane segment is likely to witness significant gains during the forecast period. TPU and polyurethane films are micro-porous and monolithic, widely used in the medical industry. They are used for waterproof-breathable medical textiles, liquid and viral barriers, transdermal components, and wound dressings.

By Application Analysis

Hygiene & Personal Care Segment to Hold Major Share During Forecast Period Due to Increasing Usage of Diapers and Feminine Hygiene Products

On the basis of application, the market is segmented into hygiene & personal care, food packaging, construction, medical, and others.

Hygiene and personal care dominated the market share in 2023 and may account for the largest share during the forecast period. Increasing usage of feminine hygiene products and diapers may drive the size of hygiene breathable film. Growing concerns about health and cleanliness, various manufacturers are making biodegradable sanitary napkins and diapers, which shall augment the industry growth during the forecast period.  

Food packaging applications may witness a significant growth rate during the forecast period. Breathable packaging effectively preserves food products by modifying the packaging atmosphere and controlling the moisture and oxygen amount inside the package. Breathable packaging extends food shelf life, reduces bacterial growth, and keeps the product fresh for a longer period.


Asia Pacific Breathable Films Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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In terms of geography, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

The Asia Pacific market size is expected to dominate the regional segment due to rising packaging materials in pharmaceutical, personal care products, and food & beverages. Surging demand from hygienic baby care products in China and India due to rise in the population of working mothers, change in lifestyle, and rise in per-capita disposable income is attributable to regional market growth. The packaging industry is the fifth largest sector in India. According to the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), India’s packaging consumption has increased 200% in the past decade, rising from 4.3 kg per person per annum (pppa) to 8.6 kg pppa as of FY-20. Growing consumer awareness, increasing income levels, and growing demand for processed food drive the India packaging industry.

Huge investments in the pharmaceutical, food processing, protective clothing, and personal care end-user industries favor packaging market expansion in the region.

The market in North America is expected to grow during the forecast period due to construction industry expansion. Rising building & construction activities in the U.S. and Canada and increasing infrastructure investment by companies and government organizations shall drive the industry growth in the region. Polyethylene films are used in the construction industry, covering specific spaces and protecting valuable equipment and machinery. The increasing demand for food packaging, heavy-duty sacks, and shopping bags mainly drives the polyethylene market size in the U.S.

The demand for breathable films in the European market is anticipated to show a significant growth rate during the forecast period. The regional market is attributed to increasing demand from textile, hygiene & personal care, pharmaceutical, and packaging industries. Surging demand for protective clothing polyethylene breathable film owing to protecting medical staffs on account of COVID-19 pandemic shall augment the regional industry growth.

Increasing demand from polyester films shall augment the Latin America market during the foreseeable timeframe.

The Middle East & Africa market may show sluggish growth rates during the forecast period. The market is attributed to the growing food packaging industry.

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List of Key Companies in Breathable Films Market

Manufacturers are Engaged in Capacity Expansion and New Product Launch to Expand Business Portfolio

The global breathable films market share is competitive, with well-established key players operating in the industry. Most key market players are engaged in capacity expansion, collaboration, acquisition, and new product launch, which is likely to expand the overall business and their potential customer reach. Also, the competition among the key players will be high during the forecast period as the manufacturers are investing in expanding their geographical reach.

  • In January 2020, Berry Global announced a USD 20 million capacity expansion for sustainable and breathable films. The company will expand its healthcare, hygiene, and specialty films platform in North America.

  • In June 2020, Reifenhäuse, a German plastic extrusion equipment manufacturer, transformed one of its pilot production lines into a film production line to help a global medical protective clothing manufacturer. The production line can produce about 110 tons of breathable films, which can make 1.2 million pieces of protective clothing.  

  • In July 2019, SWM International expanded its thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) film manufacturing capabilities to meet the growing global demand by installing a TPU film line at its manufacturing site in Suzhou, China.


  • Arkema (France)

  • Fatra, a.s. (Czechia)


  • RKW Group (Germany)

  • Covestro AG (Germany)

  • Skymark (U.K.)

  • SILON (Czech Republic)


  • DSM Engineering Plastics (Netherlands)


  • Imerys (France)


  • Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Japan)


  • July 2022 - The Nitto Denko Corporation acquired Mondi's four companies. These acquired companies operate under the name of the Advanced Film Solutions Division. This division is responsible for carrying out the personal care business and its subsidiary businesses.

  • March 2021 - Printpack announced the launch of the Preserve line of breathable laminated film for fresh produce pre-qualified by the How2Recycle organization. The film comprises all polyethylene and is approved for in-store drop-off recycling.

  • September 2021 – Poligof expanded its breathable films business by 300 million square meters per year for hygiene products.

  • September 2020 - SABIC launched an innovative TF-BOPE film for frozen food packaging.


An Infographic Representation of Breathable Films Market

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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, and applications. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. This report includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market growth in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 8% during 2024-2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Polyethylene

  • Polyester

  • Polyurethane

  • Polypropylene

  • Others

By Application

  • Hygiene & Personal Care

  • Food Packaging

  • Construction

  • Medical

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 3.26 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 6.58 billion by 2032.

In 2023, Asia Pacific stood at USD 1.27 billion.

The market will exhibit steady growth of 8% CAGR during the forecast period (2024-2032).

Hygiene & personal care segment is the leading application in the market.

Increasing demand for baby diapers is expected to drive the market growth.

Arkema, Imerys, NITTO DENKO CORPORATION, Fatra, and Covestro AG are the major players in this market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2023.

Increasing demand in the medical and packaging industries is expected to drive the product adoption.

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