The packaging waste crisis is worsening in line with an increase in consumption, the growth of convenience food and the massive expansion of food delivery services during the period of semi-lockdown measures to counter the spread of COVID-19. More than half of all packaging waste comes from food and beverages– a majority of which is plastic packaging which is not properly sorted or disposed of. This situation shows that Thailand is in dire need of adjusting its production and encouraging consumers to reduce packaging waste. At the same time, an overhaul of the waste management system would likely help eco-friendly packaging to grab a larger share of the market.
KResearch views that, while businesses in 2020 are facing economic contraction that have forced many of them to cut their costs by turning to lower-priced conventional packaging, the market value of eco-friendly food and beverage packaging is still projected to grow 25 percent from last year to around THB 2.1-2.4 billion – though such growth is much lower than that of 2019, which saw almost twice as much growth. Nonetheless, its market share for 2020 has increased from around 1 percent to 2 percent of total market value in the food and beverage packaging industry.
Over the next five years, businesses which produce eco-friendly food and beverage packaging will likely be able to carve out a larger share of the market, benefiting from consumers' environmental awareness and conditions that support production, such as investment promotion measures, availability of alternative raw materials, and government measures aimed at the creation of an effective packaging waste management system. KResearch expects that the market turnover of eco-friendly food and beverage packaging will likely be in the range of THB 13-16 billion in 2025, bringing its market share up to a range of 8-10 percent of total market value in the food and beverage packaging industry.
The adaptation of Thai business operators, particularly manufacturers of plastic packaging – the most used material in packaging, will likely prove beneficial to the eco-friendly packaging market as a whole. It is expected that there would be a supporting mechanism that will spur the continuous development of Thai business operators in order to achieve the goal of packaging waste reduction and to create a guideline for sustainable consumption. This development will also be in line with changes in the global market, whether it be more stringent packaging standards, a move towards using recycled PET and recycled PP, or an investment in bioplastic, (PLA) which is more environmentally friendly.