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Europe and Asia Pacific synthetic paper market was valued at US$ 647.8 million in 2022 and is projected to attain a market valuation of US$ 1,272.4 million by 2031 at a CAGR of 7.79% during the forecast period 2023–2031.
Synthetic paper, made from polymers such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), has emerged as a durable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective alternative to traditional paper in the Europe and Asia Pacific regions. The market landscape for synthetic paper is characterized by increasing demand, technological advancements, and strategic initiatives by key players. Wherein, Europe has been at the forefront of sustainable initiatives, reflected in the growth of the synthetic paper market. There is an increasing demand for synthetic paper in industries such as packaging, labeling, and printing. The pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food & beverage industries in Europe have also demonstrated a growing preference for sustainable and durable materials, driving the demand for synthetic paper. Apart from this, the rise of e-commerce and a growing middle class with disposable income in the Asia Pacific region have spurred the demand for synthetic paper. China and India have been major contributors to this growth due to their rapid industrialization and economic development.
Technological advancements have been a key factor shaping the market landscape. Innovations in production processes and materials have led to more sustainable and cost-effective synthetic paper. For instance, manufacturers have focused on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions during production. Companies like Yupo Corporation and Nan Ya Plastics Corporation have been pioneers in introducing advanced synthetic paper materials, leading the way for others to follow suit.
Consumers have been significantly shifted towards synthetic paper, mainly due to its numerous benefits such as longer shelf life, resistance to water and chemicals, and easy recyclability. E-commerce companies and the food & beverage industry have been key consumers. In Europe, the labels and tags segment held over 30% of the market share in 2022, driven by the ability to print high-quality graphics on synthetic paper. Wherein, government regulations and policies have played a crucial role in shaping the synthetic paper market. Europe's stringent regulations on environmental conservation have encouraged the adoption of eco-friendly materials like synthetic paper. In the Asia Pacific region, countries like China and Japan have implemented policies promoting sustainable packaging and waste reduction.
However, the volatility of raw material prices, especially petroleum-based polymers, has been a challenge for manufacturers. The increasing demand for bio-based polymers due to environmental concerns has also impacted the market. The Asia Pacific region has seen increased demand for bio-based polymers as an alternative to petroleum-based products. In Japan, the synthetic paper market for bio-based polymers is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 6.5% during the forecast period.
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Driver: Regulatory Compliance and Waste Reduction Goals
Stringent regulatory environment, particularly in Europe is one of the most compelling drivers behind the growing adoption of synthetic paper market. Governments and regulatory bodies are increasingly implementing rules that compel businesses to adopt more sustainable practices and reduce waste. In this context, synthetic paper has emerged as a viable alternative that aligns with these regulatory requirements. In 2019, the European Parliament adopted a new directive aimed at reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, known as the Single-Use Plastics Directive. This directive has triggered a shift away from single-use plastics, pushing businesses to explore alternative materials, including synthetic paper. The directive has set specific targets, including the goal of recycling 90% of beverage bottles by 2025. Moreover, the European Union’s Circular Economy Action Plan, updated in 2020, encourages sustainable product design and aims to ensure that resources used in products remain within the EU economy for as long as possible. As a part of this effort, reducing packaging waste has been a focus area, and the transition to synthetic paper aligns with these objectives.
In the Asia Pacific synthetic paper market, governments have also been enacting regulations to mitigate environmental pollution. Countries like China, India, and Japan have implemented policies to promote waste reduction and encourage sustainable packaging. These regulatory initiatives have accelerated the adoption of synthetic paper in both regions.
Trend: Adoption of Bio-Based Polymers in Synthetic Paper Production
The growing preference for bio-based polymers in synthetic paper production is an emerging trend that is expected to have a significant impact on the market landscape in Europe and the Asia Pacific. Bio-based polymers, derived from renewable biological sources such as plant starch or sugarcane, present an attractive alternative to petroleum-based polymers in terms of sustainability and reduced environmental footprint. The growing preference for bio-based polymers in the Europe and Asia Pacific synthetic paper market is attributed to several macroeconomic factors. For instance, the increasing global awareness of environmental issues and climate change has spurred interest in sustainable materials. In addition to this, the volatility of oil prices, which directly impacts the cost of petroleum-based polymers, has encouraged manufacturers to seek more stable and cost-effective alternatives. Our study suggests some of the microeconomic factors, such as consumer demand for eco-friendly products and corporate sustainability goals, also contribute to this trend. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, businesses are responding by adopting sustainable materials and practices to meet consumer expectations and differentiate themselves in the market.
The study indicates a growing demand for bio-based polymers in synthetic paper production as several companies like Yupo Corporation and Nan Ya Plastics Corporation continued to invest in research and development of bio-based polymers in synthetic paper production.
Opportunity: Synthetic Paper for Smart Packaging Solutions
A burgeoning opportunity in the synthetic paper markets of both Europe and Asia Pacific is the integration of synthetic paper into smart packaging solutions. As technological advancements saturate the packaging sector, synthetic paper offers a unique platform for integrating various smart technologies, given its durability, print quality, and versatility. In Europe, the trend towards a digital single market, as stipulated in the Digital Agenda for Europe, emphasizes the necessity for more connected and digitally-enabled products. There's a clear push towards integrating Internet of Things (IoT) devices with everyday products. The European Commission, in its 2020 strategy report, highlighted that by 2025, it expects over 75% of the European population to have access to fast broadband services, facilitating more advanced IoT applications, including in packaging.
This trend aligns perfectly with the rising demands of consumers for more interactive and informative packaging. According to our recent study, in 2021, the smart packaging market in the Asia Pacific was valued at approximately USD 3.4 billion and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% until 2030. With synthetic paper's resilience against moisture and its ability to retain print quality, it becomes an ideal medium for QR codes, NFC tags, and other digital touchpoints that smart packaging solutions often employ. In addition, governments across both regions are increasingly focusing on traceability in supply chains. For instance, the European Food Safety Authority has underscored the importance of traceability "from farm to fork" to ensure food safety. Synthetic paper's potential in smart packaging can address this by providing real-time data through its integration with sensors and trackers.
By Raw Material
The synthetic paper market in Europe and Asia Pacific can be segmented based on raw materials used in production. The market is dominated by Biaxially Oriented PolyPropylene Films (BOPP), which held over 54.7% of the market revenue share in 2022. BOPP’s popularity in the synthetic paper market can be attributed to its numerous advantages, including excellent moisture resistance, high dimensional stability, and superb printability, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, especially those requiring high-quality printing. Apart from this one key factor contributing to BOPP's dominance in the market is the rising demand for durable and recyclable packaging materials. Brands are increasingly focused on improving their packaging to be more sustainable and aesthetically appealing. BOPP's recyclability and ability to produce vibrant, high-definition prints make it an attractive choice for companies looking to enhance their product packaging.
The versatility of BOPP films has also led to its adoption in various applications beyond packaging, such as book covers, labels, and maps, which are exposed to harsh conditions and require materials with high resistance to wear and tear. The robustness and durability of BOPP make it ideal for such uses. Therefore, it is expected that BOPP will continue to dominate the synthetic paper market in both Europe and Asia Pacific for the foreseeable future. It aligns with the increasing emphasis on sustainability and durability in the packaging industry and is well-suited for applications requiring high-quality printing.
In terms of application, the synthetic paper market in Europe and Asia Pacific is dominated by the printing segment, which contributed more than 45% to the total market revenue in 2022. The segment is expected to maintain its dominance in the coming years, with a healthy CAGR of 8.1%. The growth of the printing segment is attributed to several factors. The increased adoption of synthetic paper in printing applications is largely due to its superior properties compared to conventional paper. It offers resistance to water, grease, and chemicals, and is also tear-resistant, making it ideal for printed materials that need to withstand rough handling and exposure to environmental elements. Furthermore, synthetic paper provides high-quality printing results, with excellent color reproduction and sharp image resolution. This has made it particularly attractive for applications like marketing materials, brochures, and labels that require vibrant and detailed prints.
The ongoing transition to sustainable materials is also driving the adoption of synthetic paper in printing applications. Companies are seeking alternatives to traditional paper, which consumes a significant amount of water and energy during production. Synthetic paper, on the other hand, has a smaller environmental footprint and aligns with growing consumer preferences for sustainable products.
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The synthetic paper market can also be segmented by industry, with the commercial and retail segment projected to maintain its leading position through the forecast period. In 2022, this segment generated over 32.3% of the market's revenue. The commercial and retail industry's reliance on synthetic paper can be attributed to several factors. For one, the retail industry requires durable materials for price tags, labels, and signage that can withstand various environmental conditions, such as exposure to sunlight, moisture, and abrasion. Synthetic paper is an ideal choice for these applications, offering durability, resistance to external elements, and high-quality printing.
In the commercial sector, synthetic paper market is gaining widescale adoption as marketing materials, such as banners, posters, and brochures. These materials often require high-resolution printing and durability to withstand handling and transportation. Synthetic paper’s resistance to tearing and environmental factors, combined with its excellent print quality, makes it a popular choice for these applications. Moreover, the push for sustainability in the commercial and retail sectors is driving the adoption of synthetic paper. Brands are increasingly seeking materials that align with their sustainability goals and cater to environmentally conscious consumers. Synthetic paper’s reduced environmental impact, compared to traditional paper, makes it an attractive option for businesses looking to minimize their ecological footprint.
Asia Pacific has established itself as a significant revenue generator in the synthetic paper market in 2022, accounting for more than 56.6% of the global revenue share. The region's rapid growth trajectory can be attributed to favorable conditions in both supply and demand, with the fastest CAGR in the coming years.
In terms of demand, the Asia Pacific region has experienced significant growth across several countries. In India, demand for synthetic paper surged by 13.6% in 2022, driven largely by the booming packaging and label industry. The Indian government has recognized the potential of this market, investing INR 22 billion in research and development initiatives to support the synthetic paper industry. Meanwhile, China experienced a 19.8% increase in demand for synthetic paper, accounting for approximately 32% of the region's demand. The expanding e-commerce sector in China has led to an increasing need for labels, packaging, and marketing materials, prompting the Chinese government to allocate RMB 15 billion for infrastructure projects supporting the industry. In Indonesia, demand for synthetic paper recorded a growth of 11.2% in 2022, driven by rapid urbanization and the expansion of the consumer goods industry. The Indonesian government has pledged IDR 200 billion to encourage sustainable practices within the industry. Despite a relatively mature market, Japan has maintained a steady demand for synthetic paper, with a 4.8% increase in 2022. The Japanese government's efforts to promote environmental sustainability have resulted in higher consumer demand for eco-friendly products like synthetic paper, prompting a government allocation of JPY 15 billion for the development of sustainable materials. Finally, in Australia, the synthetic paper market has grown by 8.3% in 2022, driven by a national focus on sustainability and waste reduction. The Australian government has invested AUD 12 million in research initiatives related to synthetic paper technology.
On the supply side, the Asia Pacific region has demonstrated impressive growth, with several countries increasing production capacities. India has seen a surge in synthetic paper production, with a 14.2% increase in 2022, facilitated by government incentives such as tax breaks for manufacturers and support for research initiatives. In China, synthetic paper production grew by 18.5% in 2022, fueled by government investments in infrastructure and the burgeoning e-commerce sector. Indonesia's production of synthetic paper increased by 12.1% in 2022, reflecting the growing demand in the country. In Japan, production of synthetic paper remained stable, with a modest growth of 5.2% in 2022. In Australia, synthetic paper production increased by 9.1% in 2022, supported by government efforts to promote sustainable practices.
Consumer trends in the region have leaned towards sustainability and eco-friendliness, creating a favorable environment for the growth of the synthetic paper industry. Governments across the region have provided support to manufacturers by offering incentives, investing in research, and promoting sustainable practices. As a result, the Asia Pacific region is expected to maintain its dominant position in the global synthetic paper market in the coming years.
Top Players in the Europe and Asia Pacific Synthetic Paper Market
Market Segmentation Overview:
By Raw Material
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