EUROPE – The European Tube Manufacturers Association (ETMA) has reported that the tube market grew by 2% in 2022 attributed to growth in tube deliveries.

ETMA said that the European tube market was robust last year with a rise of under 2% to a total volume of 11.8 billion units.

Shipments to the pharmaceutical market grew 13%, dental care was up 2% while cosmetics rose by 1%. But food declined by 7% while demand in household sectors fell by 14%.

ETMA president Mark Aegler explains the long-standing globalization trend in procurement has given way to increasing regionalization.

He says: “ETMA members are seeing many customers focus on European sourcing because the security of supply and a certain geographic proximity are playing an increasingly important role following supply chain issues in recent years.”

The year 2022 saw the drafting of a new European regulation for packaging and packaging waste presented by the EU Commission.

This includes stricter requirements for the recyclability and design of packaging, meaning the packaging industry will have to deliver innovations.

The ETMA explains that the European tube industry has been working successfully for years on what it describes as even more sustainable packaging solutions that bring improvements through less material use, less complex packaging structures and optimal recyclability.

These measures are said to lead to more resource efficiency and a reduction of the product’s carbon footprint.

The draft legislation presented by the EU Commission and the quotas it contains for the use of recycled material in plastic packaging are also expected to pose major challenges regarding the availability of high-quality post-consumer recycled plastics, explains the ETMA.

It states: “Persistent inflation may be limiting consumers’ purchasing power, but the tube is extremely popular with consumers as a practical, lightweight, and easy-to-use package. It has also proven to be an anchor of stability in the FMCG world during the past years of crisis.”

Aegler emphasizes that European tube manufacturers are feeling a slight easing in energy, raw material and freight prices. However, the situation regarding labor costs and labor availability has noticeably worsened.

In the fierce competition for qualified employees, tube manufacturers are called upon to sharpen their profile as attractive and flexible employers with meaningful sustainability strategies.

Major brands such as Colgate have introduced recyclable tubes into their packaging production, proving the potential for further innovation globally.

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