Polystyrene (PS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) market Size

Polystyrene (PS) and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Market to generate appreciable valuation from packaging applications, global valuation to exceed the 50-billion-dollar frontier by 2024

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Videolar-Innova, one of the most renowned players in polystyrene and expanded polystyrene market, has recently expanded its monomer manufacturing capacity in Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. Reportedly, the company has increased its production capacity from 260,000 tons to 420,000 tons on an annual basis, given the rising demand for PS & EPS products worldwide, and further plans to become operational from 2019. Videolar-Innova’s expansion can be aptly construed as a dynamic move by the company to consolidate its position in PS & EPS market. Similar moves by companies to upgrade their operational efficiencies and cater to a rather enormous product demand across the construction, packaging, and electronics sectors are slated to generate lucrative avenues for polystyrene and expanded polystyrene industry players. The robust demand for these polymers in the construction sector, owing to their excellent water resistance and thermal insulation properties have further led PS & EPS industry to accrue remarkable gains in the ensuing years. In fact, reports depict the polystyrene and expanded polystyrene market size to be valued at USD 34 billion in 2016, pertaining to the massive number of infrastructure development projects across the globe.

Europe polystyrene & EPS market size, by product, 2013 – 2024 (USD Million)
Europe polystyrene & EPS market size, by product, 2013 - 2024 (USD Million)

The non-biodegradability quotient of polymers has been one of the most major concerns pertaining to the limitation of polystyrene and expanded polystyrene industry expansion. Nowadays, people are more aware about the hazardous impact of any synthetic product on the environment. In response to this fact, several governmental & private entities are organizing awareness programs to educate people about the impact of polymers on environment and the benefits of using renewable alternatives over synthetic products, which would considerably impact PS and EPS market. These factors have compelled several PS and EPS industry players to look out for options that are environmentally viable. The fact that these polystyrenes are 100% recyclable have led several companies to focus on upgrading their recycling facilities to lower the impact of PS & EPS products on the environment. For instance, the Polystyrene Association of South Africa has collaborated with Wildlands to recycle products manufactured from polystyrene. Given that EPS products witness tremendous demand across supermarkets, restaurants, and canteens for packaging applications across the South African turf, subject to their superior insulation properties, this agreement would have quite an impact on the regional polystyrene and expanded polystyrene industry share. Speaking about the products’ insulation properties, it is noteworthy to mention that these characteristics, in particular, have helped meet the massive demand for these products from the food packaging sector, which as per estimates accounted for 40% of the overall polystyrene and expanded polystyrene industry share in 2016.

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In order to maintain the much-needed balance between the ecology and product demand for several applications, renowned PS & EPS industry players are investing heavily in designing new systems for the pretreatment, collection, and recycling of EPS (expanded polystyrene). For instance, the Spain based processor and producer of plastics, COEXPAN has recently tied up with firms such as ANAPE, Total Petrochemicals Iberica, and El Corte Inglés for the creation of a seamless value chain with respect to the recycling, generation, and transformation of plastic materials. That said, it is prudent to mention that apart from industry behemoths, various NGOs have been undertaking noteworthy initiatives to reduce the plastic waste generation by reusing all types of plastic waste materials, which would have a rather appreciable impact on polystyrene and expanded polystyrene (EPS) market trends.

In order to increase the overall production capability through chemically recycled PS and EPS, joint ventures are a common strategy undertaken by companies. For instance, Agilyx Corp. has partnered with the styrenics provider, Ineos Styrolution to manufacture products on a large scale from its pyrolysis plant. Speaking of which, some of the key participants in polystyrene (PS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) industry are BASF SE, Dow Chemical Company, Synthos, ACH Foam Technologies Inc., Total S.A, Synbra Holding BV, Flint Hills Resources, LLC, Kaneka Corporation, Kumho Petrochemical, and SABIC

Taking into account the usability of these polymers, PS and EPS market players are focusing on development of cost effective and environment friendly products. Shifting trends toward the usage of biodegradable and renewable products are also expected to favor the industry growth in the ensuing years. The extensive product demand from end-use sectors such as food service and hospitality, in tandem with the global requirement of environmental safety, will certainly fuel PS and EPS market size over the years ahead.

Author Name : Sunil Hebbalkar