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Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Material (Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and Others), By Product Type (Bags, Pouches & Sachets, Films & Laminates, Tapes & Labels, Tubes, and Others), By End-use Industry (Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Home Care, Personal Care, Agriculture, E-commerce, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: July 08, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI108075



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The global flexible plastic packaging market was valued at USD 149.32 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 157.74 billion in 2024 to USD 250.34 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.94% during the forecast period.

Plastic as a packaging material is enjoying great popularity due to its technical versatility and malleability. It offers excellent protection for food while being very lightweight and cost-effective. Flexible plastic packaging offers a wide range of protective properties while ensuring minimal material consumption. They are used in industrial and consumer applications to protect and distribute a wide range of products in the market, thus enhancing the market’s growth. The major factors driving the market growth are easy customizability, reusability, minimal production cost, and wide usage of this packaging in several end-use industries.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the connected lockdown measures led to a significant contraction of the global economy. Economic activity contracted around the world as supply, demand, and trade were suddenly harshly disrupted. Moreover, the healthcare industry saw positive growth during this phase, while the food & beverage and agriculture industries saw moderate growth. The remaining industries saw a decline in the demand for the product, thus negatively impacting the market growth.

Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Trends

Augmenting Demand for Biodegradable Packaging is Trending in the Global Market

The necessity for sustainable packaging is more important than ever as consumers continue to demand eco-friendly options. Therefore, biodegradable flexible packaging is emerging as a feasible option to address sustainability concerns. Biodegradable flexible plastic packaging is made of various materials that can decompose naturally. Unlike traditional packaging that contributes to landfill and pollution, these materials can decompose without leaving traces of harmful substances. In addition, this packaging is much more cost-effective than eco-friendly options such as metal or glass. The rise of biodegradable flexible packaging options such as pouches, bags, and films makes them popular among consumers and businesses.

Furthermore, the demand for flexible packaging products is growing worldwide, with demand surging in various industries, such as the medical, food, and cosmetics industries. The trend of the flexible packaging industry comes as consumers become more environmentally conscious and want to make more accountable selections.

New recycling techniques are also being developed to ensure that biodegradable flexible packaging can be easily reused or decomposed after use. As technologies evolve, pursuing sustainable packaging options is expected to continue to drive the trend toward biodegradable packaging.

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Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Growth Factors

Integration of Smart and Barrier Technologies is Enhancing the Market’s Growth

Integrating smart technologies into packaging materials, such as QR codes and NFC tags, using specialized inks and adhesives redefines product interaction. These innovations provide improved traceability, anti-counterfeiting methods, and upgraded consumer engagement. The ability of these technologies to provide additional interactive content and product information via smart packaging to consumers enhances the user experience. The challenge for producers is to manufacture materials compatible with smart technologies that can survive various environmental conditions without changing the digital elements, making such innovation crucial in healthcare and consumer products.

Moreover, barrier coatings in flexible packaging are critical for product safeguarding and shelf life extension. The industry is innovating more effective and environmentally friendly barrier materials. For instance, nanocoatings offer improved barrier properties with thinner applied layers and thus reduce material consumption while maintaining performance. A major challenge is to balance high barrier effectiveness with sustainability goals such as recyclability and reduced dependence on non-renewable resources. These innovations are particularly vital in the food & beverage industry, where keeping product freshness is critical, thus driving the growth of this market.

Rising Initiatives to Make Plastic Packaging Recyclable is Contributing to the Growth of this Market

Flexible plastic is 60% more energy efficient than other packaging materials such as paper and cardboard, and it also produces 50% and 70% fewer water and air pollutants, respectively. In addition, recycling plastics uses only 10% of the energy required to recycle paper.

Initiatives taken by manufacturers are also vital factors driving the demand for recyclable packaging. One of these initiatives was taken in August 2023 by Toppan, Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello, and Mitsui Chemicals, announcing the launch of pilot tests for the horizontal recycling of printed BOPP films back into new flexible packaging films. With this joint pilot initiative, the three companies target to establish technologies and operational infrastructure for horizontal recycling of flexible packaging materials and leverage network growth in the flexible packaging materials industry to advance and enlarge horizontal recycling of flexible packaging films.

In addition, there are great initiatives from forward-thinking groups such as the Flexible Packaging Association, which strongly emphasizes sustainable packaging. The FPA is working with numerous manufacturers on environmentally friendly packaging. The Sustainable Plastic Coalition, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APPR), and the Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) also encourage and strengthen public education and outreach on plastic film recycling.


Benefits of Rigid Packaging over Flexible is Restraining the Market’s Growth

Flexible plastic packaging has various benefits; however, the strength and mechanical properties of rigid packaging to pack heavy-duty goods are restraining the growth of this market. Furthermore, the rigid packaging is highly protective and cannot be crushed or damaged easily during transit. The easy recyclability of rigid packaging products compared to flexible ones is one of the primary reasons for the hindrance of this market’s growth.

The increasing landfill waste caused by plastic packaging and the lack of proper recycling infrastructure in emerging nations is further impeding the flexible plastic packaging market growth.

Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Segmentation Analysis

By Material Analysis

Resisting Properties Offered by the Polyethylene (PE) is Contributing to the Segment’s Growth

Based on material, the flexible plastic packaging market is segmented into polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and others.

The polyethylene (PE) is the dominating segment in this market. Properties such as high chemical and impact resistance, little to no moisture absorption, and lightweight make polyethylene an excellent choice in flexible packaging. The ability of PE to withstand extreme temperatures and its gradually increasing its use in food & beverage packaging which is boosting the growth of this segment.

The polypropylene (PP) segment holds the second largest share in this market. Polypropylene is highly lightweight, flexible, and quite durable. The durability of PP allows it to bend repeatedly at the same point without any breakage and cracks. Polypropylene packaging features high clarity, making it easy to view the packaged item. Such features help in bolstering the segment’s growth.

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By Product Type Analysis

Increasing Use of Bags in the E-commerce Industry is Flourishing the Growth of this Segment

Based on product type, the market for flexible plastic packaging is segmented into bags, pouches & sachets, films & laminates, tapes & labels, tubes, and others.

The bags segment holds the largest share in this market. The surging shipments of packages bought and sold through e-commerce, as plastic bags are often used to wrap items in packages before shipment, have raised the demand for bags. Furthermore, strong growth in the use of single-use medical devices, nearly all of which are packaged in plastic bags for ease of use and sterility, is driving the growth of this segment.

The pouches & sachets is the second dominating segment in this market. These are some of the popular packaging methods nowadays and are widely used by consumers and in institutional products to preserve, market, and allocate or circulate the vast array of goods.

By End-use Industry Analysis

Reduction in the Food Wastage Using the Solution is Boosting the Growth of Food & Beverage Segment

Based on end-use industry, the flexible plastic packaging market is segmented into food & beverage, healthcare, home care, personal care, agriculture, e-commerce, and others.

The food & beverage segment has the largest market share. The growing population globally is one of the primary reasons for this segment’s growth. Flexible plastic packaging helps extend the shelf life of food products, thus reducing food wastage and increasing the use of such packaging in this industry.

The healthcare is the second dominating segment in this market. The gradual day-by-day increase in the geriatric population across the world, along with a rising number of diseases, is driving the demand for the solution in this industry.


The market is analyzed across North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Asia Pacific Flexible Plastic Packaging Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The Asia Pacific holds the largest part in the flexible plastic packaging market share and has become the fastest-growing market. The exceptional demand from the food & beverage and healthcare sectors, coupled with the rising e-commerce industry in emerging nations, is enhancing the growth of this region.

North America is the second dominating region in this market. The presence of key players such as Berry Global, Sealed Air, and Sonoco Products Company, among others, along with the initiatives taken by the manufacturers for new product development and integration of the technology in the existing products, is contributing to the market’s growth.

Europe market for flexible plastic packaging is growing at a moderate rate due to the driven concept of sustainability and the growing personal care and healthcare industry in the region.

Latin America is anticipated to grow steadily during the forecasted period. The gradually rising food & beverage industry, along with the rising demand for the packaged food and e-commerce industry, is attracting investments in the region from major economies such as the U.S., China, and others, thus promoting the growth of this region.

List of Key Companies in Flexible Plastic Packaging Market

Leading Players Provide Innovative Packaging to Dominate the Market

The global flexible plastic packaging market is highly fragmented and competitive. Regarding market share, the few major players dominate the market by offering innovative packaging in the packaging industry. These major players in the market are constantly focusing on expanding their customer base across the regions and innovation.

Major players in the market include Amcor, Huhtamaki, Berry Global, Sealed Air, Sonoco Products Company, and others. Numerous other players operating in the industry are focused on delivering advanced packaging solutions.

List of Key Companies Profiled:

  • Amcor (Switzerland)

  • Berry Global (U.S.)

  • Sealed Air (U.S.)

  • Aluflexpack AG (Switzerland)

  • Bak Ambalaj Sanayi (Türkiye)

  • Constantia Flexibles (Austria)

  • Clondalkin Group (Netherlands)

  •  Danaflex Group (Russia)

  • Printpack, Inc. (U.S.)

  • ProAmpac Intermediate, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Huhtamaki (Finland)

  • Mondi (U.K.)

  • Sonoco Products Company (U.S.)

  • Coveris (Austria)

  • Transcontinental Inc (Canada)


  • December 2023 - MOPI, one of the pallet stretch film suppliers, announced the launch of Hunter NanoPac Stretch Film. The film is manufactured from at least 30% recycled plastic, which reduces its ecological footprint.

  • August 2023 - Dow partnered with Mengniu, a leading dairy company in China, to launch an all-polyethylene (PE) yogurt pouch designed for recyclability. The innovation supports both companies’ commitment to achieving a circular economy in China.

  • December 2022 - Gunze, a Japanese plastic film producer, unveiled its plans to launch an eco-friendly heat-shrinkable film named GEOPLAS HCT3 with recycled resin. GEOPLAS HCT3 is a polystyrene/polyethene terephthalate-based multi-layered product that uses 30% chemically recycled raw materials.

  • September 2022 - Diversey launched a pioneering initiative: “SafePack™” pouches. They are fully recyclable, the first of their kind, and UN-approved for classified liquids. These pouches help customers lower carbon emissions, reduce plastic waste, and meet the highest recyclability and safety standards.

  • October 2021 - Dow commercialized recyclable toothpaste tubes, developed and manufactured in the Asia Pacific and used by major consumer brands. Along with responsible disposal and recycling infrastructure, this solution could help reduce the number of used toothpaste tubes entering landfills.


An Infographic Representation of Flexible Plastic Packaging Market

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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the flexible plastic packaging market and focuses on key aspects such as prominent companies, competitive landscape, product/service types, Porter’s five forces analysis, and leading end-use industries of the product. Besides this, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's 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 5.94% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Material

  • Polyethylene (PE)

  • Polypropylene (PP)

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

  • Others

By Product Type

  • Bags

  • Pouches & Sachets

  • Films & Laminates

  • Tapes & Labels

  • Tubes

  • Others

By End-use Industry

  • Food & Beverage

  • Healthcare

  • Home Care

  • Personal Care

  • Agriculture

  • E-commerce

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Material, By Product Type, By End-use Industry, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Material)

    • Canada (By Material)

  • Europe (By Material, By Product Type, By End-use Industry, and Country)

    • Germany (By Material)

    • U.K. (By Material)

    • France (By Material)

    • Italy (By Material)

    • Spain (By Material)

    • Russia (By Material)

    • Poland (By Material)

    • Romania (By Material)

    • Rest of Europe (By Material)

  • Asia Pacific (By Material, By Product Type, By End-use Industry, and Country)

    • China (By Material)

    • India (By Material)

    • Japan (By Material)

    • Australia (By Material)

    • South Korea (By Material)

    • Southeast Asia (By Material)

    • Rest of the Asia Pacific (By Material)

  • Latin America (By Material, By Product Type, By End-use Industry, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Material)

    • Mexico (By Material)

    • Argentina (By Material)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Material)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Material, By Product Type, By End-use Industry, and Country)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Material)

    • U.A.E. (By Material)

    • Oman (By Material)

    • South Africa (By Material)

    • Rest of the Middle East and Africa (By Material)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Fortune Business Insights study shows that the global market was USD 149.32 billion in 2023.

The Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 56.83 billion in 2023.

Based on material, the polyethylene (PE) segment dominates the global market share due to the resisting properties offered by PE.

The global market size is expected to reach USD 250.34 billion by 2032.

The key market drivers are the integration of smart and barrier technologies and rising initiatives to make plastic packaging recyclable.

The top players in the market are Amcor, Huhtamaki, Berry Global, Sealed Air, and Sonoco Products Company, among others.

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