In 2019, global plastics production was 368 million tonnes. Asian countries dominate the market with 51% market share.
Ranking 7th in the world, Europe contributes 16% to its production, i.e. around 58 million tonnes (4 million less than in 2018), while having a positive trade balance of 13.1 billion euros in 2019 and thus contributing to public finances to the tune of 28.5 billion euros.
Among the application markets, different industries benefit from the added value provided by plastics. Indeed, the packaging industry attracts 39.6% of the consumption of plastics, followed by the construction and buildings (20.4%), automotive (9.6%) sectors. ), electrical and electronics (6.2%), household / sports and leisure (4.1%), agriculture (3.4%) and other sectors (16.7%) .
Application and consumption markets for different polymers
In Belgium, the diagram below explains the different polymer consumption by sector of activity.
Impact on employment and turnover
The plastics industry creates jobs! In Europe and in 2019, our industry employed more than 1.56 million people in 55,000 companies. For Belgium, 33,113 people work there, including 72% for the transformation of plastics! These jobs thus make it possible to generate 350 billion euros in turnover in Europe, including 14.2 billion euros in Belgium.
Focus on Plastiwin members
At the Plastiwin member level, the companies now employ 10,500 people and generate a turnover of 2.5 billion euros.
The plastics industry and the circular economy
Since 2006, recycling of plastic waste X2
By improving our recycling capabilities in Europe, the plastics industry is accelerating its transition to the circular economy. In particular, dropping from 4.6 million tonnes of recycled waste in 2006 to 9.4 million in 2019, and reducing its exports of plastic waste outside the EU by 39% (from 2016 to 2018).
Integration of recycled materials
In 2018, 4 million tonnes of recycled materials (80%) were incorporated into new products in Europe. 20% remaining having been sold outside Europe.
See below the markets integrating recycled materials the most:
Belgium in 2018 generated 610 kT of post-consumer plastic waste, of which 34% was recycled. More intensive selective collection of plastic waste, for example by extending the blue PMD bag to all plastic packaging, will further increase the share of plastic waste available for recycling.