GVR Report cover Expanded Polystyrene Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Expanded Polystyrene Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (White, Grey), By Application (Construction, Automotive, Packaging), By Region (APAC, Europe), And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-603-5
  • Number of Pages: 100
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The global expanded polystyrene market size was valued at USD 9.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% from 2021 to 2028. Increasing demand for sustainable and lightweight solutions that provide extreme durability coupled with improved thermal insulation is projected to boost the growth of the market over the forecast period. The rising demand for acoustic and thermal insulation in the building & construction industry in developing economies including China and India is expected to increase the demand for high-quality polymers. Furthermore, rising construction activities of durable commercial and residential buildings, which can easily withstand extreme external environmental factors are expected to propel the market growth over the forecast period.

U.S. EPS Market

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is used in the construction industry to reduce energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. In recent years, green buildings have been gaining more popularity over conventional ones. Green building offers advantages including improved air quality, reduction in operating expenditure, reduction in overall load on metal frames, and efficient use of energy & water as compared to conventional buildings.

Excellent insulation offered by EPS is significantly boosting its demand in green buildings. Thus, with the rising demand for green buildings, the market for EPS is also expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period.

Expanded polystyrene is lightweight, strong, and recyclable. The market is expected to grow owing to the increasing product application scope in various end-use sectors. Rising demand for lightweight, reusable, chemically stable materials in automotive components, packaging solutions, and furniture are projected to propel the market growth.

Expanded Polystyrene Market Trends

Green buildings have been gaining more popularity due to the environmental benefits offered in recent years. The green buildings offer benefits such as reduced load on metal structures, efficient use of water & energy, improved air quality, and overall reduced operating costs compared to conventional buildings, which in turn is fueling the demand for green buildings. Expanded polystyrene offers excellent insulation, which helps reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. With the rising demand for green buildings, the market for EPS is also expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period.

The green buildings market is witnessing steady growth in several countries such as India, Vietnam, Poland, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, among others. Stringent government regulations & initiatives, rising environmental concerns, and increasing awareness regarding the benefits of green buildings, such as enhanced indoor environmental quality, energy conservation, and material efficiency, are expected to significantly drive the demand for these buildings in the countries mentioned above over the forecast period. This, in turn, is anticipated to drive the overall expanded polystyrene market prominently.

The expanded polystyrene market is expected to grow owing to the increasing application scope of EPS in various application sectors. The rising popularity of chemically stable, reusable, and lightweight materials in furniture, packaging solutions, and automotive components is projected to positively impact the demand for expanded polystyrene over the forecast period.

Properties such as excellent shock absorption, lightweight, and impact resistance have led to an increase in EPS usage in the automotive industry. Expanded polystyrene in several automotive applications such as foot pads, headrests & seats, storage compartments, and the bumper system is expected to impact the demand for EPS in the automotive industry positively.

Expanded polystyrene is non-biodegradable in nature. As recycling is the only way to reduce landfills caused by expanded polystyrene, eco-friendly alternatives for packaging comprising biodegradable materials such as starch, corn, and paper are gaining popularity. Thus, the growing environmental concern is anticipated to impact market growth over the forecast period negatively. Furthermore, the availability of its substitutes, such as expanded polypropylene and expanded polyethylene with similar applications, might further hamper the demand for expanded polystyrene in the coming years.

Due to its non-biodegradable nature, expanding polystyrene faces a complete ban in packaging applications in many countries across the globe. For instance, in April 2020, the New York legislature passed a ban on expanding polystyrene foam products. The statewide ban prohibits the use of EPS in loose-fill packaging and food ware containers and is expected to be effective from January 2022. Such strict regulations might result in limiting the growth of the expanded polystyrene market over the forecast period.

Product Insights

The white EPS product segment led the market and accounted for more than 57.0% share of the global revenue in 2020. The segment will expand further at the fastest CAGR from 2021 to 2028 owing to the growing product demand in packaging applications, such as food packaging (drink cups, food trays, and clamshell containers) and electronics and consumer goods packaging among others.

White EPS is also used in furniture, sports helmets, construction, and automotive applications. Moreover, the growing food service industry and demand for better-quality packaged foods are further projected to propel the segment growth. Grey EPS offers enhanced performance as compared to white EPS. Graphite is added to the mixture in grey EPS, which improves the overall performance of the material. It is majorly used in construction applications and is costlier than white EPS.

Application Insights

The construction application segment led the global market in 2020 and accounted for more than 46% share of the global revenue. However, the packaging application segment is estimated to record the fastest CAGR from 2021 to 2028. The growth can be credited to the extensive product usage in packaging applications due to the excellent shock-absorbing properties that make it ideal for the storage and transportation of products, such as electronics equipment, consumer goods, wines, healthcare, and chemical products. Excellent moisture resistance and thermal insulation offered by EPS help retain the freshness of perishable products, such as seafood, fruits, and vegetables.

Furthermore, compression resistance offered by these materials drives their demand for stackable packaging goods. The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have less impact on the packaging industry as the demand for packaging of healthcare products and food has increased sharply, while the demand for luxury, industrial, and some B2B-transport packaging has declined on account of the slowdown and halt in industrial operations.

Global EPS Market

The product demand in construction applications is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to various beneficial characteristics of EPS, such as excellent thermal insulation, lightness, chemical inertness, and bacterial & pest resistance.

The global pandemic has severely affected the growth of the construction sector. Stoppage or slowdown of construction projects, restriction on movements, halts in production, and labor shortages to contain the spread of the virus have led to a decline in the growth of the construction industry, which, in turn, is anticipated to hamper the demand for EPS in construction applications.

The automotive application segment is also anticipated to witness considerable growth over the forecast period on account of increasing product demand in automobile parts, such as storage compartments, headrest & seats, footpads, and bumper systems. The material is used in the automotive application on account of its properties, such as lightness, impact resistance, and shock absorption.

Regional Insights

The Asia Pacific dominated the regional expanded polystyrene market and accounted for a market share of more than 54.0% in 2019 in terms of revenue. The region is estimated to grow further at the fastest CAGR from 2020 to 2027 due to rising product demand in the major application segments, including building & construction, packaging, and automotive in emerging economies, such as China and India. The Asia Pacific has the fastest-growing building and construction market across all regions. Rising disposable income and urbanization and government initiatives, such as the "Housing for All" in India, are driving the construction sector's growth in the APAC region.

Expanded Polystyrene Market Trends by Region

China is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The country accounted for a significant share of the global demand for EPS in 2019. The rising number of infrastructure development projects and the growing packaging industry are expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period. Government initiatives, such as the 13th Five-Year Plan for Building Energy Efficiency and Green Building Development and State Council Green Building Action Plan, are boosting the growth of green building construction in China, which might further contribute to the EPS market growth in the country.

Europe was the next immediate leading market for expanded polystyrene due to high demand from the construction, automotive, and packaging sectors. The product has applications in several industries due to its shape formation properties, easy molding, and other versatile benefits. In recent years, Europe has witnessed a rising demand for expanded polystyrene use in green building design applications owing to its excellent environmental advantages that provide enhanced durability, maximized energy efficiency, and an improved indoor environment.

The UK's expanded polystyrene market is driven by the rising application of expanded polystyrene in packaging. Expanded polystyrene is preferred as a suitable material for packaging applications in medical use and essential food, including organ transplants, fish boxes, and processed food packaging, owing to its excellent insulation properties and lack of any sustenance for bacteria. These properties make EPS suitable for the packaging and transportation of medicines and COVID-19 samples to laboratories for testing purposes. Since the government has ramped up the COVID-19 testing to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for expanded polystyrene in medical packaging has seen a sharp increase in recent times and is expected to follow the same trend in the coming years.

The Central & South American building & construction market is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period due to the region's economic growth. Recovery of the region's residential, commercial building & infrastructure sectors is expected to fuel the demand for expanded polystyrene in the construction sector. Significant new investments by the government of CSA in public works and housing supported by construction initiatives to promote green building construction are further expected to fuel infrastructure growth in CSA, thereby fueling the product demand over the forecast period.

Brazil dominated Central & South America expanded polystyrene market in 2019, and the trend is likely to continue over the forecast period. The revival of the economy coupled with the growing demand for green building construction is expected to propel the growth of the construction industry, which, in turn, is anticipated to boost the demand for expanded polystyrene in the country.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The majority of the market players are engaged in the expansion of manufacturing facilities, mergers & acquisitions, and vertically integrating across the value chain. These initiatives enable companies to cater to increasing global demand, ensure competitive effectiveness, enhance sales & operations planning, develop innovative products & technologies, lower production costs, and expand customer base.

For instance, in June 2019, BASF SE increased its global production capacity of Neopor (a graphite polystyrene rigid foam and a type of EPS) by 40,000 metric tons per year. The capacity addition was done at two production sites, namely Ulsan (Korea) and Ludwigshafen (Germany). This move allowed BASF SE to cater to the surging demand for grey material in the Asian market. Some of the major companies operating in the global expanded polystyrene (EPS) market include:


  • Kaneka Corp.

  • Total

  • NOVA Chemicals Corporate

  • Ravago


Expanded Polystyrene Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 9.7 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 13.5 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 4.8% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million/billion, and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country Scope

U.S.; Germany; U.K.; China; India; Brazil

Key companies profiled

BASF SE; Kaneka Corp.; Total; NOVA Chemicals Corporate; Ravago; SABIC

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent to up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Global Expanded Polystyrene Market Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global expanded polystyrene market report on the basis of product, application, and region:

Global Expanded Polystyrene Market Segmentation

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • White

    • Grey

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Construction

    • Packaging

    • Automotive

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • India

      • China

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

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