Production moves away from plastic
Thailand's packaging and printing industries are shifting to produce bio-flexible packaging products in line with the government's policy to ban plastic packaging in the future, says the Thai Packaging Association.
Manit Kamolsuwan, president of the association, said the policy will encourage many companies to innovate and adopt technology in line with the global movement against plastics, which will benefit the industry.
"Thai producers in the packaging and printing industries have to chase the global trend and adopt new innovation and technology and learn more about bio-flexible products to serve environmental concerns," Mr Manit said.
Local producers use flexible packaging such as film, mostly for foods and beverages, including other raw materials: cast polypropylene film, polyethylene terephthalate, nylon, aluminium foil and laminated film.
"These products are made by the petrochemical sector domestically," Mr Manit said. "We expect the bio-flexible sector to see greater demand in the near future."
He said the country's packaging and printing industries will consume increasing volumes of paper as global concern about plastic waste grows.
Asia-Pacific is driving demand for packaging and printing products, Mr Manit said.
The Thai Packaging Association reported that the country has paper consumption of roughly 70 kilogrammes per person per year.
Kriangkrai Tiannukul, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the packaging and printing industries will grow 2-3% in 2019, driven by food and beverage demand.
He said the e-commerce and parcel shipment businesses are expanding rapidly in Thailand because of lifestyle changes among consumers, especially younger customers who purchase goods through online channels.
"The packaging and printing industries have a total value of 300 billion baht," Mr Kriangkrai said. "The packaging sector makes up 60% while the remainder goes to the printing industry."
The Thai Packaging Association, the Thai Printing Association and the FTI are teaming up with Messe Duesseldorf Asia to hold an exhibition titled "Shaping the Future of Packaging and Printing in Asia", scheduled for Sept 18-21 in Bangkok, with over 300 leading companies from 25 countries set to attend.
Gernot Ringling, managing director of Messe Duesseldorf Asia, said the global market for packaging and printing industries has total value of US$370 billion (11.3 trillion baht).
"Asia-Pacific is a competitive region to drive demand from those industries," Mr Ringling said.