U.S. demand for beverage containers should advance at an annual rate of 2.2 percent through 2003 to 217 billion units, according to a recent Beverage Containers study by The Freedonia Group, (Cleveland, OH). Plastic containers will see the fastest gains at more than six percent annually to 55 billion units in 2003, using 5.6 billion pounds. of resin. Metal cans remain at about half of total demand. However, metal is losing ground to glass and plastics in many areas.

Other findings show carbonated soft drinks remaining the largest single market for beverage containers followed by beer. Fruit juice and drinks are expected to supplant milk as the third largest container market.