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Plastic beverage caps and closures are now more popular than metal closures

According to the report ‘Innovation in Caps and Closures’ from the Canadean, plastic closures (49%) overtook metal closures (48%) last year, gaining the largest share of the global market for beverage closures. In comparison, metal closures held 51% of the market in 2007. The advance of plastic closures is primarily associated with a shift towards more innovative, lightweight, cost saving packaging.
Over recent years, the economic downturn has encouraged a focus on cost and material savings in the beverage industry, with the aim of delivering cheaper closures that require minimal adaptation of installed technology. Plastic closures have benefitted from this with their intrinsically lightweight properties and strong potential for innovation.
There have been a number of new innovations for plastic closures in the last two years, with more resistant, technologically advanced lightweight caps providing greater potential for energy reduction and material savings. Lightweight packaging in general has been a strong trend in the beverage industry, as suppliers continue to strive to develop products which satisfy both environment and cost concerns.
In May 2013, can2closure launched a resealable end. The closure consists of a tamper-evident lever that opens the can when turned 180 degrees in either direction. This simple mechanism is designed to be easier to open than the standard stay-on tab opening of beverage cans, and can be repeatedly sealed.
Innovation in plastic closures continues to be of growing interest, holding great potential for development in the future. As a result, the gap between plastic and metal closures is expected to widen, with 52% of the market expected to be held by plastic closures in 2017.
 “Plastics closures crossed a critical threshold last year in overtaking the share of their metal counterparts across all CPG end-markets,” says Dominic Cakebread, Director of Packaging Services at Canadean.
According to Cakebread, the recent growth of plastic closures has been driven partly by the associated gain in share of plastics containers and partly by further advances in closure design, materials and systems.  “These have been focusing on reducing polymer weight and cost, while maintaining or improving technical performance and convenience features. It is the greater flexibility of plastics to adapt to the changing demands of the closure market that give them their on-going advantage.”

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