Definition and Classification of Paper Packaging
Paper packaging refers to the products made from base paper as the main raw material and used to protect and publicize the packaged goods after printing and other processing procedures, mainly including color boxes, cartons, brochures, self-adhesive stickers, cushioning materials and many other varieties. Paper packaging has many advantages, such as wide sources of raw materials, low proportion of product cost, environmental protection, convenient logistics and handling, easy storage and recycling, etc. With the continuous improvement of production technology and technical level, paper packaging products can partially replace various packaging forms such as wood packaging, plastic packaging, glass packaging, aluminum packaging, steel packaging, iron sheet packaging, etc., and its application scope is becoming wider and wider.
Because paper packaging is recyclable and environmentally friendly, it can improve economic benefits, is an ideal choice for market economy, and is also the development focus in the era of circular economy.
Paper packaging can be divided into disposable packaging and durable packaging according to the packaging form. Disposable packaging refers to the packaging form in direct contact with the package, which is mainly used for packaging consumer goods such as medical devices, medicines, foods, sterile liquids and daily chemicals. As the packaging form directly contacts the packaged goods, it usually has certain performance requirements for packaging materials, such as oil resistance, bacteria resistance, adhesion prevention, sealing, heat preservation, moisture absorption, paper-plastic composite, etc. Packaging materials generally use special paper or special paper-based composite materials; Durable packaging usually refers to packaging with protective outer layer, which is mainly used to provide suitable space and better protection for internal packaging.
Paper packaging industry can also be divided into general-purpose paper packaging, special-purpose paper packaging, food paper packaging and printing paper packaging according to packaging functions. Universal paper packaging is mainly composed of base paper and paperboard, and the common forms are cartons, partitions, paper bags and cartons, etc. Special purpose paper packaging is mainly composed of oil-proof wrapping paper, moisture-proof wrapping paper and rust-proof paper, which is used for packaging large-scale mechanical equipment and metal products. Paper packaging is used in food, beverage and other fields. Common forms include food parchment and candy packaging base paper. Printed paper packaging refers to the paper which is printed with trademarks on the paperboard with fillers and sizing materials on the surface layer, and then made into cartons and other papers for packaging. Common forms include white board paper and white cardboard.
Market Size of China’s Paper Packaging Industry
According to Sullivan’s data, in 2017, China’s paper packaging demand for food, beverages (alcoholic beverages), daily chemicals and other consumer goods has accounted for more than 60% of the total paper packaging demand. As an important downstream industry in paper packaging industry, the demand of products in beverage, food, daily chemicals and other industries for paper packaging products such as packing boxes, cushioning pads and printing paper has injected a steady stream of development momentum into the paper packaging industry, and the stable development of its market will greatly promote the market growth of the paper packaging industry.
With the growth of China’s GDP and disposable income of Chinese consumers, China’s food manufacturing industry, wine, beverage and refined tea manufacturing industry have developed rapidly in recent years. According to the data of the National Bureau of Statistics, the main income of China’s food manufacturing industry increased from 1,816.50 billion yuan in 2013 to 2,341.48 billion yuan in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.6%. Meanwhile, the main income of China’s wine, beverage and refined tea manufacturing industry increased by 4.1% from 2013 to 2017. China is still the world’s largest population country, and the income of residents continues to rise. It is expected that China’s food and beverage industry will continue to grow (see Figure 2-2). In addition, industries such as daily chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and electronic appliances also have different degrees of growth in 2017. The packaging industry shows a steady growth trend driven by consumption expenditure. As a relatively large sub-industry in the packaging industry, the paper packaging industry will also become the beneficiary of this trend.
Thanks to the good development of downstream industries and the continuous growth of demand for paper packaging, China’s paper packaging industry has maintained a steady upward trend in recent years. According to the data of Sullivan Data Center, the scale of China’s paper packaging market increased from 253.99 billion yuan in 2013 to 331.09 billion yuan in 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.9%. With the rapid economic development in China, more and more attention is paid to green development and sustainable development. Every link in the paper packaging industry, from raw materials to packaging design and manufacturing to product use and recycling, can achieve maximum resource saving, high efficiency and harmlessness. With the further deepening of the concept of sustainable development, it is estimated that by 2022, the market size of China’s paper packaging industry will reach 542.26 billion yuan.