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Barrier Packaging Market Scenario Highlighting Major Drivers & Trends, 2026

Press release from the issuing company

Report Scope:

This BCC Research study provides in-depth coverage of many of the most important technological, economic, political, and environmental considerations in the U.S. barrier packaging polymer industry. It is primarily a study of U.S. markets. However, because of the increasingly global nature of polymer and packaging chemistry, it touches on some noteworthy international activities, primarily those having an impact on the U.S. market, such as imports/exports and foreign firms operating in this country.

We analyze and forecast market estimates for barrier packaging plastic resins in volume and pounds. Our base market estimate year is 2017, and we forecast market growth for a five-year period to 2022. All market estimates are rounded to the nearest million pounds and all growth rates are compounded and signified as compound annual growth rates or CAGRs. Because of this rounding, some growth rates may not agree exactly with figures in the market tables; this is especially so with small volumes and their differences. All market volumes are at the manufacturer or producer level.

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Report Includes:

- 20 data tables and 15 additional tables

- An overview of the global markets for plastics used in barrier packaging

- Analyses of global market trends, with data estimates for 2017 and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2022

- Information on barrier polymers and their applications, their technology, competing barrier materials, and future trends

- Analysis of the market's drivers and opportunities

- In-depth analysis of the market's restrictions, specifically including susceptibility to contamination or degradation, disposability and recyclability issues, challenges compared to competing materials, and costs

- Profiles of major players in the industry


This report is the most recent update in a series of BCC Research reports, the last published early in 2015, that are devoted to the business, technology, and markets for synthetic plastic barrier resins. These resins are used in packaging structures designed to restrict the passage of gases and vapors through the package, and, therefore, either in or out of the product inside that package. This report reflects new developments and trends in this important packaging industry and updates our market estimates and forecasts.

The barrier plastic packaging industry in the U.S. is a large business. Its size is, in large part, determined by how one defines "barrier" and therefore what resin products and packaging structures are included in the scope of the analysis. We define a barrier resin as one that has low permeation to the most important gases that can either permeate into or exfiltrate out of a package and thus damage a packaged product. The gases that permeate into a package primarily are oxygen and water vapor. We also include the important thermoplastic polyester, PET, because of its extensive use both as a barrier bottle resin (in this case to keep carbon dioxide “fizz” inside the bottle) for carbonated and other beverages and as a secondary barrier and structural substrate for many other barrier films. PET also has been receiving more attention and gaining increased importance for packaging of more sensitive materials, most notably beer, in new higher barrier PET structures.

The total U.S. market is estimated to be about 9.4 billion pounds in 2017 and should grow at about an overall 2.5% CAGR for all barrier resins to about 10.6 billion pounds over the next five years to the forecast year 2022. This modest CAGR estimate is predicated on the current state of the U.S. and global economies with current growth, although fairly steady, not up to expectations. It is in line with most current near-term U.S. GDP projections.

Reasons for Doing This Study:

As noted above, packaging constitutes the single largest end use of plastics in the U.S, and more and more, packaging is barrier packaging which is taking on increased importance each year as both producers and customers seek longer shelf life and better product integrity, flavor, potency, and more.

BCC Research has maintained and updated this study to provide a comprehensive reference for those interested or involved in these products and who want an up-to-date review of the field and estimated markets. This cohort of people and organizations includes a wide and varied group of chemical and other companies that make and use barrier polymers, process technology and equipment designers and marketers, politicians of all stripes, and the general public. We have collected, condensed, and analyzed information from a large amount of literature and other reference materials to compile this report.

Many developments over the past generation or so in barrier packaging were done to develop even more sophisticated multilayer barrier packaging structures needed to solve the most difficult barrier packaging problems economically. These developments are a primary and continuing focus of this study. As this technology was developed, four basic barrier materials were found and used widely: PVdC, nylon, EVOH, and metalized films. Consumer demand for foods with longer shelf life, high-quality, and excellent flavor and freshness retention has led to even more sophisticated MLS that often are thinner than their less-efficient predecessors, but also usually more sophisticated and complicated, usually with more, but usually thinner, layers. This evolvement has occurred because of the better choice of barriers and structural layers in the ML structure. It often results in a thinner coextruded or molded film or rigid structure with more layers that can do a better job than a simpler and thicker one.

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