The Roadmap of the Plastics, Composites and Synthetic Textiles Industry


A competitive industry

1. Creator of jobs and its added value

The plastics industry is a source of jobs and added value. Regarding Plastiwin members, we represent 2.5 billion turnover and 10,500 jobs.

2. Contributor to Wallonia's positive trade balance

In Wallonia, 49.2 billion euros of exports in 2019, of which 40% for the chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector. In terms of the plastics industry, an increase in exports of 9.6% has been identified compared to 2018. A significant increase highlighting the contribution of the Walloon plastics industry to the positive trade balance of Wallonia, knowing that the Walloon share in national exports stood on average over the period 2009-2017 at 16.1%.

3. Resilient to crises

Faced with financial or health crises, the Walloon plastics industry must be resilient. To do this, it must in particular seize the opportunities for transition to sustainable economic models, face the risk of relocation, position itself on promising markets. The permanent questioning of its business plan in the face of the internal and external risks of each company will allow a better sustainability of the activities related to the plastics industry on the Walloon territory.


A social industry

1. Better access to jobs in the plastics industry (girls, young people, low-skilled workers, job seekers, seniors, etc.)

The Walloon plastics industry, in collaboration with local stakeholders, will have to strengthen access to its labor market for girls, low-skilled workers, job seekers, seniors, etc., in the professions of the plastics.

2. Better reskilling and upskilling for the professions of the future and in short supply (STEM, digital, innovation, circular economy, knowledge sharing between young and experienced seniors)

The question of better reskilling (retraining employees whose current job is no longer useful or whose transformation is too brutal by allowing them to acquire new skills) and upskilling (developing skills in a job in order to adapting it to new realities) will be essential in order to face the new challenges of digitization, the circular economy and other market innovations. In particular, training of employees in digital issues, better knowledge sharing between qualified young people and experienced seniors, and everything relating to the establishment of training for new activities linked to innovation and circular economy. The development of skills related to emerging and technical professions (STEM) will also prove crucial.

3. Promotion of the assets of the social economy and cooperative entrepreneurship

The social economy and cooperative entrepreneurship could play an important role in strengthening the social asset that the plastics industry can play in Wallonia.


A circular industry

1. Sustainable management of companies (low carbon footprint, environmental management practices, use of best available techniques, circularity in production processes, etc.)

Companies in the Walloon plastics industry will seek a low carbon footprint at the level of the company itself, a strengthening of environmental management practices, continuity in the use of the best available techniques, circularity in the processes of production, and any other means to guarantee the sustainable management of companies.

2. Development of supply and strengthening of demand for sustainable and circular products and services (optimization of resource consumption, development of new alternatives, product models towards service, etc.)

Developing the supply of circular products and services is essential to achieve circularity in plastics in Wallonia. The vision relates in particular to the optimization of the consumption of resources, eco-design, the development of new alternative plastics including bio-sourced ones, with a focus on optimizing the carbon and environmental footprint of products and services, the exploration of product models towards service (functional economy, collaborative economy, reverse logistics, etc.), the development of the reuse and repairability of plastic products, while strictly respecting the regulations in force.

3. Better “waste-resource” transition (plastic waste management, functional and sustainable secondary raw materials market, increased consumption of recycled materials from products, etc.)

Improving the management of plastic waste and its economic, ecological and social performance (improvement of sorting and collection, mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, fight against illegal dumping, upcycling, downcycling, strengthening of cooperation between stakeholders and emergence of new alliances) is constantly progressing within the framework of collaborative development between all players in the plastics value chain. The development of a functional and sustainable secondary raw materials market (given a value to waste, from waste to resource) and the gradual increase in the recycled material content of products, while ensuring their performance and safety are actions keys to the development of our industry.


A collaborative industry

1. Better integration of our companies on the territory through a systemic circular economy approach (eg industrial ecology)

As an industry, companies in the plastics industry must integrate as well as possible into their territory through a systemic circular economy approach. Not hesitating, for example, to enter into industrial ecology initiatives, into actions taken at the level of business parks.

2. Strengthening collaboration between all links in the industry value chain, in particular through digitization

The industry is tending towards strengthening collaboration between all links in the industry value chain, in particular through digitization and providing its expertise to stakeholders in its value chain. For example, we can cite: circularity in production processes (industrial symbioses, supporting the sector of circular and sustainable bio-based products, etc.)

3. Serving its target markets

The plastics industry is an industry which, apart from creating added value in its industry, also contributes to the development and creation of added value in other sectors, including target markets for the industry. For example, the sectors of: automotive, medical, environment, construction, etc ...


An innovative industry

1. Better use of digital technologies and high-tech techniques (internet of things, artificial intelligence, industry of the future, plastronics, mass customization, etc.)

The plastics industry will increasingly integrate digital technologies and high-tech techniques such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, plastronics, mass customization into its production processes and at the level of plastic products. , etc. …).

2. Improved investment in R&D (including patents) for a better positioning in promising markets

In order to position itself in promising markets, the plastics industry will have to continue to encourage investment in R&D, in particular through better accessibility to investment programs.

3. Establishment of integrated innovation chains based on value chain analysis

Circular materials have been recognized by the Walloon region as an important strategy for its specialization (strategy S3). Industry will be part of this process and the deployment of actions.