Plastic Cups Market

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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.


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.


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.


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.
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Market Sizing - US Plastic Cup Market

The United States plastic cup market was estimated to be worth $1.56 billion in 2016, $1.62 billion in 2017, and expected to reach about $1.82 billion in 2020 and $2.04 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 3.9%. Plastic cups are categorized under disposable cup products, same as with paper cups and polystyrene foam cups used in the food and beverage industry. The plastic cups figure provided above does not include paper cups coated with plastic resins, as this type of cups were categorized under paper cups market.

While there were no precompiled reports available in the public domain that could directly quote the required information, we've estimated the market size in the United States using various industry report's insights and statistics for the global and regional market. Below you will find our detailed calculations, estimations, and assumptions made to derive the industry's market size and growth projections.


According to Research Nester market analysis, global disposable cups market value was about $12.1 billion in 2016. The scope of this market size is for plastic cups and polystyrene foam cups. While there was no segmentation given for its specific material type, we estimated that the polystyrene foam application used in the food industry was estimated to worth $6.8 billion globally, thus plastic cups would worth roughly about $5.3 billion. These estimations were based on a separate report released by GM Insights. According to this report, the global polystyrene & expanded polystyrene market of all industry and application was valued at $34 billion in 2016. Of these, 40% are intended for packaging purposes (food industry) such as cups, bowls, and containers. Of the total market, about 50% accounts for polystyrene material.

Polystyrene foam used in the food industry market size
= $34 billion (total market) * 40% (food industry)* 50% (polystyrene)
= $6.8 billion (estimated for polystyrene foam packaging such as cups, bowls and containers)

Estimated plastic cups market size
= $12.1 billion - $6.8 billion = $5.3 billion

Another estimation is made using a separate market analysis report released by Future Marketing Insights which analyzes the global market for plastic and paper cups (categorized as disposable cups). This two product types were valued at about $12 billion in 2016 and "are projected to reach more than $20 billion by 2026 globally with its sales revenue expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.9% in terms of value during the projected period." According to this report, the paper material cups market stood at close to 50% share, which allows the remaining 50% [100%-50%] for plastic materials.

Plastic cup market size globally
= $12 billion *50% = $6 billion

For the purpose of this research, we've used the estimated $6 billion plastic cups market size for the global market.


From the same report released by Research Nester, of the total disposable cups market, North America region captures around 26% market share. From our above calculations, we've used the estimated $6 billion global market size to estimate the United States market. We've also assumed that North America represents the United States as a whole since there was no further segmentation given to the region.

United States plastic cups market size in 2016
= Global plastic cup market size * 26%
= $6 billion * 26%
= $1.56 billion


From Freedonia report, the United States demand for cups and lids (plastic, paper, foam and other materials) is growing at 3.9% annually until 2020 and its value will reach $10.6 billion. While the global growth rate was reported to be 5.9%, the US cups market was posed to record a 3.9% annual growth rate. If the plastic cups market was estimated to record a $1.56 billion revenue in 2016 (from our earlier calculation), and if the US cups market (plastic, paper, and foam) is growing at 3.9% per year until 2020 and assuming this growth rate continues on until 2023, then by 2023, the market's value would be $2.04 billion.

2016 = $1.56 billion
2017 = $1.56 billion*1.039 = $1.62 billion
2018 = $1.62 billion*1.039 = $1.68 billion
2019 = $1.68 billion*1.039 = $1.75 billion
2020 = $1.75 billion*1.039 = $1.82 billion
2021 = $1.82 billion*1.039 = $1.89 billion
2022 = $1.89 billion*1.039 = $1.96 billion
2023 = $1.96 billion*1.039 = $2.04 billion

From Statista report, according to the data collected by the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), "218.02 million Americans used disposable cups and plates in 2017."


The United States plastic cups market is growing at 3.9% per year as compared to the global growth rate of 5.9%. The US market for this product was estimated to worth $1.56 billion in 2016, $1.62 billion in 2017, and expected to reach about $1.82 billion in 2020 and $2.04 billion by 2023.