The market in industrial packaging looks set for a period of continued growth, according to the latest figures from industry experts.

Recent studies by consulting services company Future Market Insights (FMI) have suggested a 5.2% increase in the sector’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the MENA region – that is, the Middle East and Africa.

The experts put the predicted growth down to a number of factors, including new improvements in product design, as well as a change in focus in the area to a non-oil economy from an oil-based economy.

Various sectors are expected to witness growth in these regions within the next seven years, including the rubber, plastics, electronics and automotive industries. These will all help drive an increase in the need for industrial packaging of all sizes and materials and for a wide range of applications.

According to the latest reports, plastic is at present by far the most used material in the MENA region’s industrial packaging market – accounting, say those in the know, for more than 50% of the overall packaging used. Its popularity is down to certain factors, including its durability and its cost-efficiency.

Plastic packaging is adaptable, easy to produce and usually lightweight, which makes it attractive to a large number of producers, especially those who need to ship their goods a long way from their place of manufacture.

However, as plastic has a well-earned reputation for being non-biodegradable, there are certain steps being taken by various governments, authorities and global organisations to slow down or decrease its widespread use. These measures are, of course, having an impact on the manufacturers involved in producing the plastic packaging, as well as those who use it on a day-to-day basis.

Numerous new regulations being put in place across the globe have led to demands for plastic packaging which is either easier to recycle or more environmentally friendly to dispose of. This has meant manufacturers of such packaging have had to adapt and innovate in order to produce packaging which meets the new regulations. Innovation is good, of course, and often leads to more effective and efficient products.

Despite the issues surrounding plastic packaging, which look set to continue for some years to come, the demand for lightweight, hard-wearing and adaptable packaging remains high in the region, particularly in relation to the storage of chemical and pharmaceutical products.

The petrochemical and oil industry, too, is one of the driving forces behind the rise of packaging in the region. Although much of this type of packaging is still made of metal – which has the advantage over plastic of being easily recyclable and ‘greener’ as a whole – there are still calls in certain sectors for more lightweight materials to be used in the manufacture of packaging such as barrels.

Overall, the industrial sector is expected to show considerable growth in the coming five years – a fact which can only lead to a growing demand for all types of packaging of all shapes, sizes and materials.

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