Several international organizations have warned that BPA is linked to various diseases in children

Consumer doubts over the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in metal packaging might prove to be an obstacle for the growth of the global metal packaging market over the next decade, according to a new report from market analyst Visiongain.

The use of the chemical has been a cause for concern in a number of countries, with a few scientific investigations on its effect on human health either currently going on, or recently having been concluded. Although there are still no official bans on the use of BPA in the vast majority of consumer goods in which it is typically used, the chemical cannot be used in the production of baby bottles and toys. However, several international organizations have warned that BPA is linked to various diseases in children. Recently, the World Health Organization issued a report that found the link between BPA and other synthetic chemicals with child development problems, while the state of California has been attempting to ban the use of the chemical.

Despite concerns over BPA, the study predicted an overall growth in demand for metal packaging globally and particularly in emerging markets, with an estimated value of the market in 2013 reaching $102.1 billion. According to Visiongain, the main driving forces that will push demand for metal packaging are modern consumers' interest in long-lasting and convenient-to-carry food and beverage packaging, as well as their increased awareness of the health benefits of metal packaging, which is noted for its nutrient retaining qualities. Moreover, metal packaging is entirely recyclable, which makes it a preferred material for both businesses and consumers who look to reduce their environmental footprint, the analysis also found.

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The tendencies for an increased demand in metal packaging are especially notable in emerging markets, which is driven by rising disposable income, busier lifestyles and the fact that consumers opt for packaged products instead of bulk products, Visiongain said in a press release.

Even though the overall prospects for growth of the global metal packaging market is positive, there are several issues that could potentially hinder the the expansion of the industry. Safety concerns over the use of BPA are a significant factor, but there are other obstacles to be faced. In many parts of the world, the impact of the financial crisis and the uncertainty regarding the euro zone can be felt, which contributes to lower consumer confidence. While food packaging is essential and is expected to thrive over the next decade, other metal packaging categories may be hit by potential dips in the global economy, the research revealed. Other constraints to the market may be changing raw material prices and fluctuating energy costs that could result in metal packaging becoming more expensive and less competitive.