Plastics – the Facts 2014

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  • Analysis of European plastics production & demand by PlasticsEurope
  • Europe ranks second in the global plastics materials production
  • Two thirds of plastics demand in Europe is concentrated in five countries

“Plastics – the Facts 2014” is an analysis of the data related to the production and demand of plastics materials in Europe. It provides the latest business information on production and demand, trade, recovery as well as employment and turnover in the plastics industry. In short, this report gives an insight into the industry’s contribution to European economic growth. The complete analysis, which also contains a section “Waste management data”, can be downloaded from the PlasticsEurope website.

The data presented in this report was collected by PlasticsEurope (the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe), EuPC (the European Plastics Converters) and EPRO (the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations).

Key figures of the European plastics industry

The European plastics industry includes plastics raw material producers, plastics converters and plastics machinery manufacturers in the EU27 member States.

European_infographic1

* 2013, The European House Ambrosetti study, data for Italy, 2013

 

Plastics: jobs, growth and competitiveness

Source: 1. Eurostat.

Source: 1. Eurostat.

The growth of the plastics industry has a multiplier effect on numerous important sectors of the European economy. The plastics industry is a key enabler of innovation of many products and technologies in other sectors of the economy like healthcare, energy generation, aerospace, automotive, maritime, construction, electronics, packaging or textile. None of these sector would innovate and grow as much as they do without plastic materials and solutions. Innovation and growth in Europe depend on manufacturing, in particular the plastics industry. A study led in 2013 by leading Italian think tank “The European House Ambrosetti” reveals the “multiplier effect” of the plastics industry:

  • It is in one of the sectors that provides the greatest contribution to EU manufacturing
  • A 10% increase in the value added of the European plastics sector could lead to a 4.4% increase in the
    value added to the overall EU manufacturing sector.

And at national level for Italy:

  • For every job created in the plastics sector, almost 3 jobs are created in the wider economy
  • A 100€ increase in GDP in the national plastics supply chain generates 238€ of GDP in the national economy

Moreover, the unique characteristics of plastics also allow them to make a strong contribution to a more environmentally sustainable and resource efficient Europe. Lightweight, versatile and durable plastics contribute to energy and resource savings in strategic sectors like retail, construction, healthcare, automotive or renewable energies. In addition, significant advances are also being made in the environmental performance of plastics in their production and end-of-life phases, hence contributing to the sustainability of European indsutries and societies.

Global competitiveness challenges of the European plastics industry

Source: based on The European House Ambrosetti study, 2013

Source: based on The European House Ambrosetti study, 2013

Plastics market data

Plastics production grows globally and is stable in Europe

Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic

Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic

Includes Plastics materials (thermoplastics and polyurethanes), other plastics (thermosets, adhesives, coatings and sealants) and PP-fibers.

With continuous growth for more than 50 years, global production in 2013 rose to 299 million tonnes, meaning a 3.9% increase compared to 2012. In Europe, the plastic production stabilised in 2013 after the 2009 turn-down. Actual levels are similar to those in 2002.

Europe ranks second in the global plastics materials production

2013 World production of plastics materials (thermoplastics and polyurethanes) Does not include other plastics (thermosets, adhesives, coatings and sealants) nor PP-fibers. (Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic)

2013 World production of plastics materials (thermoplastics and polyurethanes) Does not include other plastics (thermosets, adhesives, coatings and sealants) nor PP-fibers.(Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic)

 

Two thirds of plastics demand in Europe is concentrated in five countries

European_infographic6

Plastics provide for a wide variety of markets

In Europe, packaging applications are the largest application sector for the plastics industry and represent 39.6% of the total plastics demand. Building and construction is the second largest application sector with 20.3% of the total European demand.

Automotive is the third sector with a share of 8.5% of the total demand. Electrical and electronic applications represent 5.6% of the plastics demand and are closely followed by agricultural applications which have a share of 4.3%.

Other application sectors such as appliances, household and consumer products, furniture and medical products comprise a total of 21.7% of the European plastics demand.

European plastics demand* by segment 2013 (Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic / ECEBD * EU-27+NO/CH)

European plastics demand* by segment 2013(Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic / ECEBD * EU-27+NO/CH)

 

European plastics demand increased by 1% in 2013

European plastics demand* by polymer type (Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic / ECEBD * EU-27+NO/CH)

European plastics demand* by polymer type(Source: PlasticsEurope (PEMRG) / Consultic / ECEBD * EU-27+NO/CH)

Source:
The data presented in this report was collected by PlasticsEurope (the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe), EuPC (the European Plastics Converters) and EPRO (the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations).

PlasticsEurope’s Market Research and Statistics Group (PEMRG) provided input on the production of and demand for plastics raw materials. Consultic Marketing & Industrieberatung GmbH helped assess waste generation and recovery data. Official statistics from European or national authorities and waste management organisations have been used for recovery and trade data, where available. Research or expertise from consultants completed gaps. Figures cannot always be directly compared with those of previous years due to changes in estimates. Some estimates from previous years have been revised in order to track progress, e.g. for use and recovery of plastics across Europe over the past decade.

PlasticsEurope
PlasticsEurope is the association of plastics manufacturers and one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. It is networking with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU28 member states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

European Plastics Converters (EuPC)
EuPC is the professional representative body of plastics converters in Europe. Its activities cover all sectors of the plastics converting industry, including recycling. Its main objective is to defend and promote the European plastics converting industries interests.



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