Overview - US Plastic Cup Manufacturers, Trade Associations, and Environmentalism
The three big companies in plastic cup manufacturing in the USA based on their revenues are Berry Global Group, Dart Container Corporation, and Pactiv. The US plastic industry trade association is Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI). The three identified companies are focusing on reuse, recycling and taking steps for environmental sustainability.
We looked through US plastic industry association and identified approximately 40 companies that are listed in the Converters category. We further searched for reports by companies in the US/Global plastic cup market. Combining these two lists got us a list of companies which are the biggest players in the global market. From there, we identified those that are strictly US-based and included the three that had the highest revenues. We also verified that the three identified companies are the members of the industry trade association.
The BIGGEST MANUFACTURERS
Overall, 219.6 million Americans used disposable cups and plates in 2017. The biggest manufacturers sorted by revenue in the US plastic cup market are Berry Global Group, Dart Container Corporation, and Pactiv.
The Berry Global Group has a revenue of $7.1 billion. Their portfolio includes tapes, tubes, and trash bags. They identify themselves as the "top maker of plastic products and engineered materials for customers across a broad range of industries". They have more than 40 customizable products, including shrink wrap, packaging films, cloth tapes, foil tapes, plastic cups, plastic lids, different components for diapers, components for personal care items, and prescription bottles components. Their target markets are healthcare, personal care, and the food and beverage industry. Berry Global is a global company, as specified in the name, but North America is their biggest market. Their plastic cups are called "disposable thermoformed plastic cups".
Dart Container says for themselves they are the world cup winner when it comes to foam cups and containers. The company currently occupies approximately 50% of the global market when it comes to foam cups, but they also produce plastic cups. Overall, they produce foodservice equipment such as lids, containers, dinnerware, plastic cups, and cutlery. Their main target industries are healthcare, education, hospitality, and retailers. Dart is a family-owned company that "touts a secret molding method for expandable polystyrene". They also build their own molding machinery and distribute their own products to over 40 plants in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and the US. Dart Container has a revenue of $2.6 billion. Dart Container's full offering is listed here.
Pactiv is a company that produces packaging for the foodservice companies. They also manufacture building products. Pactiv's food packaging products include "plastic cups, takeout, deli, catering containers, and tableware". Their main customers are supermarkets, restaurants, packers, processors, and institutional industries. They mainly serve the North American market. Pactiv is a subsidiary of Reynolds Group Holdings. Their revenue is $10.97 billion. Their full plastic cup offering is listed here.
INDUSTRY TRADE ASSOCIATIONS
The North American plastic cup industry association is called the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI). It was founded in 1933, and it is the trade association for the whole foodservice packaging industry in North America. FPI's members consist of "raw material and machinery suppliers, packaging converters, foodservice distributors and operators/retailers". Their members include the companies we identified above, amongst approximately forty others which are all listed under the Converters section on their website.
ENVIRONMENTALISM AS A FACTOR
The Berry Global Group features a sector on their website called "Sustainability — Environment", where they mention that they are proud to "partner with other industry leaders to help make all plastics more recyclable". Their environmental partners include APR, American Chemistry Council, Food Service Packaging, etc. When it comes to environmental preservation effects, Berry is partnered with Preserve Gimme 5 in order to help increase the overall knowledge of the recyclability of plastics: "Preserve Gimme 5 makes products from #5 polypropylene plastic. To do so, they collect plastic from individuals and consumer companies, sort it, clean it, test it, recycle it, and turn it into new stylish products for consumer use".
Dart's produces DARE cups which are part of their Cups Are REcyclable program that has a goal of fostering the production of recycled polystyrene foam when it comes to foodservice products. The main advantages of recycled polystyrene foam are the fact they can be used by large companies and after the use can be given back to Dart to be recycled. Dart's environmental ethic consists of their effort to drive efficiency by executing a balanced strategy for caring for the environment. Their three-faceted environmental strategy includes efforts to:
"1. Maximize efficiency in the materials and processes we use
2. Promote the environmental attributes of Dart's products
3. Research and develop new materials, products, and technologies that further reduce our energy usage and carbon footprint, promote recycling through the use of recycled content, or utilize renewable resources."
Pactiv's sustainable efforts when it comes to plastic production are:
1. Reduction of energy used to produce and distribute plastic.
2. Driving reusage levels of plastic products. As the products are highly durable, many products can be reused for multiple applications.
3. Driving recycling levels can lead to the old plastic products to be used to manufacture new ones.
The industry association for plastic cup companies is called the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) which lists the plastic cup companies as its Converter members.