Paper is a versatile product and has applications in education, communication, information, and packaging. Specialty papers are special grades papers exhibiting properties such as strength, dimensional stability, density, porosity, smoothness, wet strength, and absorptivity. They are manufactured and designed for a special purpose. Based on product type specialty paper is segmented into décor paper, release liner, label paper, packaging paper, and printing paper. Printing and writing papers include paper used for books, magazines, wedding invitations, office and home printers, birthday cards, printed photos and vital documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, and diplomas.
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Increasing concern regarding environmental sustainability is encouraging use of recycled paper and recycled paper products. Utilization of renewable resource-based materials, lightweight materials, and functional materials for specialty papers is gaining significant traction. Plants such as hemp, kenaf, and bamboo yield fiber faster than trees and agricultural waste such as sugar cane, straw from wheat and rice, and byproducts from coffee, banana, and coconut plants are also used for the specialty paper production. Various economies like United Kingdom, Australia have banned plastic bags, owing to their adverse side effects on the environment. This provides a choice to customers for paper bags and specialty papers provide the required strength to carry the household goods. Handmade paper, recycled paper are used for these applications.
A major driver for growth of the global specialty paper market is growing food and beverage sector. For instance, according to Food Drink Europe, food and drink industry in European Union (EU) in 2016, was valued over US$ 1265 billion. Furthermore, food and drinks products of over US$ 106 billion were exported to non-EU market in 2016.
However, carbon emissions arising from paper manufacturing process may hamper growth of the global specialty paper market. Many paper units in China closed down sue to the ban on waste paper due to pollution issues. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is mandatory for owners or operators of facilities that produce pulp or paper and emit 25,000 metric tons or more of Green House Gases per year from pulp and paper manufacturing processes, stationary combustion, miscellaneous uses of carbonate, and other source categories must report emissions. Stringent regulations on food and beverage packaging is another restraint for global specialty paper market growth.
According to the Coherent Market Insights analysis, Europe held the dominant position in the market in 2017, and Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region in the global specialty paper market, owing to high consumption of tea, which is propelling demand for specialty paper in packet tea application. According to Food Drink Europe, In European Union (EU), there was 9% increase in processed tea and coffee import from 2014-2015.
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