Advances in Foam Recycling Could Help Global Foam Trays Market Overcome Longstanding Challenge

As the packaging industry emerges as a global business, it is witnessing a persistent demand for innovation in packaging solutions meant for diverse purposes. The main objective of packaging is to efficiently protect its contents during transit to market until it reaches its final destination of consumption or use. However, as concerns pertaining to the environmental impact of packaging materials once they are disposed skyrocket, industries have started focusing on recycling packaging materials. This trend is also observed in the foam trays market.

A recent analysis by Transparency Market Research has pegged the valuation of the global foam trays market at US$2.0 bn in 2009. Exhibiting a steady CAGR of 3.2% between 2009 and 2021, the market is anticipated to reach US$3.0 bn by the end of 2021. Volume-wise the market is anticipated to expand at CAGR of 4.4% during the period. From 31.7 bn units in 2009, the market is expected to reach 52.8 bn units by the end of 2021.

Rising Environmental Concerns Hamper Market Growth

Apart from the convenience they offer and their easy disposability, foam trays are also gaining traction in the market due to their cost-effectiveness. The market is gaining considerably from the increasing demand for expanded polystyrene (EPS). While the rising environmental concerns have been somewhat of a challenge for the market, the advent of biodegradable foam is likely to give it a good boost in the near future.

Market Sees Opportunities in Recycling Foam Trays

Price-based competition and rising environmental concerns related to the disposal of foam trays have compelled manufacturers to explore newer ways of putting the materials into use. Polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, and polyesters are the most commonly used materials to make foam trays. Of these, polystyrene is the most widely used material for making foam trays. Since polystyrene is obtained from petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource, recycling emerges as a potent way of reducing the fuel consumed during the manufacturing processes.

Recycling Polystyrene Helps in Reducing Threat to Marine Life

The most visible benefit of recycling foam trays is in the reduction of litter on land as well as in the sea. EPS is an extensively used material in the production of foam trays. It is not affected by oxygen, water, or sunlight, and hence, stays around in land or water indefinitely. Polystyrene also threatens the marine life. As the material wears out with time, EPS disintegrates into tiny particles, which fish often mistake as food. Once EPS is eaten by marine animals, it clogs their digestive system, thereby killing them. As per reports, EPS makes a substantial portion of the marine litter, thus making recycling foam trays more important than ever.

Conversion of Foam into Newer Products Reduces Need to Harvest Crude Oil

Conversion of foam trays into newer products to be used for packaging in the retail and food and beverages industries is a simple process, but it reduces the need of harvesting crude oil and the energy required in the process to make virgin resin. As an end result, greenhouse gas emission is reduced and the dependence on oil imports could plummet to a significant level.

Owing to the aforementioned reasons, leading enterprises operating in the foam trays market such Pactiv, LLC, D&W Fine Pack, LLC, Sealed Air Corporation, and others have been focusing on recycling the disposed foam. This has helped them in reducing the overall carbon footprint as well as reducing the dependence on fossil fuel for energy.


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