The global market of polystyrene can be chiefly segmented into three types of polystyrene used widely across the globe: expanded polystyrene (EPS), high impact polystyrene, and extruded polystyrene (XPS).
Albany NY, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/21/2015 -- The molded polystyrene report states that the development of the global molded polystyrene market is closely tied to the overall development of global economy. During the global economic depression of 2008-2009, the demand for polystyrene observed a stark decline on the global front. Since the depression, the global demand has remained moderately constant. As the global economy continues to recover further, providing a general framework for a rise in consumption of consumer goods, increased demand for new construction projects, automobiles, etc., the demand for polystyrene will further increase globally, albeit at a moderate pace. The demand is projected to remain low as compared to other standard plastics owing to advancing substitution processes and change in production technologies.
Of the key areas of application of molded polystyrene, the packaging industry is the chief consumer, particularly the segment of food packaging. In the future years, the segment of electronic and electric products is projected to lead to highest demand for polystyrene. Developments in the packaging industry are expected to remain less dynamic in the coming years; more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada and some in Europe and Asia are seeking to completely ban styrofoam containers owing to their extremely slow biodegradable nature. If the ban gets executed in real terms, it will lead to a decline in consumption of nearly 30,000 tons of polystyrene annually in New York alone – a worldwide ban of such kind could wipe out the overall polystyrene market.
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Polystyrene materials continue their rise as one of the most widely used varieties of plastics and are currently the fourth largest thermoplastic produced in terms of volume across the globe after polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride and polypropylene. Several billion kilograms of polystyrene are consumed every year across numerous industries. Adequate mechanical strength; resistance to a large number of chemicals; flexibility; good dielectric properties; along with the capability of exhibiting considerably improved physical and mechanical properties with the addition of rubber, glass fibers, UV stabilizers, colorants, and antistatic agents make polystyrene one of the most important thermoplastics.
Of the overall global production of molded polystyrene materials, nearly 50% is processed in Asia Pacific, making the region polystyrene's most important sales market. Industrialized regions of Europe and North America are mature polystyrene markets and have led to low demands post the global recession of 2008-2009. Owing to saturated demand from these mature markets, the global polystyrene market is projected to continue to shift to emerging economies in the Asia Pacific.
Molded polystyrene materials are capable of being recycled but are very slow to biodegrade. Products made from molded polystyrene are often a prime component of marine debris and urban litter, particularly across waterways and along shores. Their slow biodegradation has often brought polystyrene into environmental controversies and could act as the chief factor limiting their large-scale adoption in the near future.
To sustain the increasingly high environmental pressures of curbing the global content of polystyrene, global polystyrene businesses are focusing towards product innovations and more and more use of recycled polystyrene in their new product ranges. Innovative new polystyrene packaging materials are being produced with increased use of recycled polystyrene to reduce the use of virgin materials. In a recent development in this area, Cascades Inc. has announced its EVOK range of packaging products which are made from 25% recycled polystyrene – the first polystyrene foam food packaging products' range in North America to contain recycled material.
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