Growing Need for Packaging to Support Gains in US Polyethylene Demand


Cleveland, OH, December 3, 2021 — US polyethylene resin demand is forecast to increase 1.3% annually in volume terms through 2025, according to Polyethylene: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Despite market turbulence from COVID-19, improving macroeconomic conditions will increase production of manufactured goods, boosting demand for polyethylene packaging. This trend will be enhanced by end users increasingly seeking out monomaterial packaging – made entirely of one resin – for easier recyclability. Rising consumer spending will boost sales of polyethylene-containing consumer products, such as trash bags and plastic toys. In addition, increasing building construction activity is expected to boost demand for polyethylene in building products such as pipe.

Limited opportunities to penetrate new domestic markets and ongoing source reduction efforts in the packaging industry are forecast to restrain further sales growth. Demand for plastic bags is expected to flounder as more municipalities ban their use. In addition, polyethylene producers will continue to face strong competition from manufacturers of alternative resins (such as polypropylene) and alternative materials (e.g., paper).

These and other key insights are featured in Polyethylene: United States. This report forecasts to 2021 and 2025 US polyethylene resin demand and production in pounds. In addition, demand, production, and price in nominal US dollars at the manufacturer level are forecast to 2025. Total demand, production, and prices are segmented by product in terms of:

  • high-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE)
  • low-density polyethylene (LDPE)

Total demand is also segmented by market as follows:

  • packaging
  • consumer and institutional products
  • building products
  • other markets such as electrical and electronic products, industrial goods, and transport equipment

To illustrate historical trends, total demand, total production, the various segments, resin prices, and trade are provided in annual series from 2010 to 2020.

Polyethylene copolymers excluded from this report include:

  • ethylene vinyl acetate
  • polyolefin elastomers/plastomers
  • ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene

Recycled polyethylene is excluded from the scope of this report. Re-exports of polyethylene are excluded from demand and trade figures.

More information about the report is available at: