Synthetic Substrate Sales Surge: Market Value Potential & Factors Behind Growth

NEW YORK, NY—Three different analysts are pointing to significant growth in demand for synthetic papers, with all attributing a great degree of newfound interest to packaging.

One report sets compound annual growth rates (CAGR) at 7.1 percent through 2026, a second mirrors that forecast through 2025 and the third portends 8.3 percent CAGR through 2024.

Given the differing end dates assigned to each firm’s forecast period, market value evaluations are not identical:

All identify continually developing interest in recyclable and eco-friendly packaging formats as prompting market growth. They cite properties of the product, including protection from spill and tear, as well as its light weight, as being a good fit with continual advancements in printing and packaging technologies.

Synthetic Paper Market, by Region

Figures in millions of dollars.
Chart courtesy of Markets and Markets

The worldwide synthetic paper market is divided into BOPP (biaxially-oriented polypropylene), HDPE (high-density polyethylene), and PET (polyethylene terephthalate).

Acumen reports, “HDPE is expected to witness the most significant CAGR by virtue of the product qualities—for example, economical, high-impact strength, moisture resistance, chemical resistance and easy processing ability—all enabling its use in numerous applications.”

Markets and Markets counters, “BOPP is projected to lead the synthetic paper market during the forecast period, owing to increasing demand for frozen food, packaging and labeling. BOPP synthetic paper is widely used to enhance properties, such as heat stability, water resistance, fatigue resistance, high tensile strength and ease of printing.” It documents increased demand for synthetic paper from several geographic regions—Asia/Pacific, North America and Europe.

According to Markets and Markets, “The synthetic paper market is estimated at $587 million in 2019 and is projected to reach $873 million by 2024 (an 8.3 percent CAGR).” Grandview Research specifies values stretching to greater than $800 million far earlier. Its report says, “The global synthetic paper market size was estimated at $802.1 million in 2017.”

Grand View Research echoes some observations of Markets and Markets: “The superior properties exhibited by BOPP have resulted in its extensive use in the packaging of chemicals, textile, cosmetics, and food and beverages. The product is widely used in non-label applications, as it meets all the environmental requirements and does not cause pollution on account of its ability to not produce any toxic gases during the incineration process.”

Furthermore, it mentions other factors as contributing to the positive upswing:

  • Increasing demand for flexible packaging
  • Low prices of the product in Central and South America triggering regional demand
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitting use of RFID labels in the packaging of pharmaceutical products is augmenting market growth
  • Wrap-around labels, used widely in beverage packaging such as functional drinks and fruit juices, are driving the growth of the label industry in North America, thus positively affecting synthetic substrate market growth
  • A synthetic substrate is an alternative to PVC films, on account of its environmental benefits—recyclability and limited carbon dioxide emissions—during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, multi-wall paper bags and pouches are being converted to plastic-paper sacks, thereby complementing market growth over the forecast period
  • Rising demand for eco-friendly packaging in consumer products, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and industries owing to rising concerns for reducing greenhouse emissions on a domestic level are all anticipated to drive the growth of bio-based PET

US Synthetic Paper Market Size, by Product, 2014-2025

Figures in millions of dollars.
Chart courtesy of Grand View Research

Teams from all three analysts list identical significant players and cite the same noteworthy recent developments as having an impact on trends. Key players contributing to the surge in global synthetic paper market activity are: Agfa-Gevaert NV, American Profol Inc, Arjobex SAS, Cosmo Films, HOP Industries Corp, MDV Papier GmbH, Nan Ya Plastics Corp, Neenah Paper, PPG Industries Inc, Relyco Sales Inc, Seiko Epson Corp, Transilwrap Inc and Yupo Corp. Recent significant moves include:

  • June 2019: Yupo Corp developed new synthetic paper, manufactured from biodegradable plastic resin, for use in labels. This YUPO Green Synthetic paper is made from sugarcane bagasse, which is a substitute for conventional crude oil-based paper. This development was an initiative from Yupo Corp, which was undertaken with reference to the goal of sustainable development of the organization and to produce environment-friendly products
  • January 2019: The Agfa-Gevaert Group and Fujitex Co Ltd signed an agreement for the distribution of synthetic paper under the trade name SYNAPS. The agreement includes the distribution of SYNAPS XM products as Fujittex
  • August 2017: Neenah Paper launched Kimdura DualTech synthetic paper in its portfolio of labels for harsh environments, targeting specific applications—labels and tags for drum chemicals, hazard communications, health care, and industrial
  • April 2017: Cosmo Films Ltd launched BOPP-based universal printable coated synthetic paper suitable for printing technologies which include wet and UV flexo. This synthetic paper can be used for commercial printing, tags and labels, retail packaging, identification credentials, and outdoor applications