Plastics Market (By Product: Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyurethane, Polyvinyl Chloride, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polystyrene, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polybutylene Terephthalate, Polyphenylene Oxide, Epoxy Polymers Liquid Crystal Polymers, Polyether Ether Ketone, Polycarbonate, Polyamide, Polysulfone, Polyphenylsulfone, Others; By Application: Injection Molding, Blow Molding, Others; By End-use) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2024-2033


Plastics Market Size and Growth

The global plastics market size was valued at USD 624.84 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to reach around USD 943.76 billion by 2033, growing at a CAGR of 4.21% from 2024 to 2033. The primary reasons behind this market's growth are a rise in the automotive, packaging, manufacturing, and construction industries.

Plastics Market Size 2024 to 2033

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Plastics Market Key Takeaways

  • Asia Pacific dominated the plastics market in 2023.
  • Europe will establish a significant presence in the global market during the forecast period.
  • By product, the polyethylene segment dominated the market in 2023.
  • By product, the polypropylene is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the market.
  • By application, the injection molding segment dominated the market by application in 2023.
  • By application, the thermoforming segment is expected to witness the fastest growth in the market during the forecast period.
  • By end-use, the packaging segment dominated the market in 2023.
  • By end-use, the building & construction segment will expand substantially during the forecast period.

Plastics Market Size in the Asia Pacific 2024 to 2033

The Asia Pacific plastics market size was estimated at USD 199.95 billion in 2023 and is predicted to be worth around USD 306.72 billion by 2033, at a CAGR of 4.37% from 2024 to 2033.

Asia Pacific Plastics Market Size 2024 to 2033

Asia Pacific dominated the plastics market in 2023. Asia Pacific has countries that are leading in terms of population, like India and China. With a rising population, packaging, manufacturing, automotive, and other industries requiring plastics are in high demand. China is the top manufacturer of EVs, and there is a high need for plastic in making these vehicles.

In India, it can be seen that e-commerce is boosting, as Amazon, Flipkart, and food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy have started to give services in rural and remote areas as well. These services require a lot of plastic for packaging purposes and ensure that the product’s quality is maintained. Thus boosting the plastics market in the region.

Plastics Market Share, By Region, 2023 (%)

Europe will establish a significant presence in the global plastics market during the forecast period. Europe is one of the largest producers of plastic. In order to prevent plastic pollution, Europe is also getting active in recycling plastic. Recycling plastics is helping to reduce the piles in landfills and keep up with plastic production in Europe. Plastics are in high demand in Europe for packaging, building, development, construction, automotive, and many more industries.

  • According to the European Association of Plastic Manufacturers, plastic waste recycling has increased by around 80% in the past ten years in Europe.

Plastics Market Size in North America 2023 to 2033

The North America plastics market size was calculated at USD 174.96 billion in 2023 and is projected to expand around USD 268.97 billion by 2033, poised to grow at a CAGR of 4.39% from 2024 to 2033.

Year Market Size (USD Billion)
2023 174.96
2024 182.32
2025 190.00
2026 198.00
2027 206.33
2028 215.02
2029 224.07
2030 233.50
2031 243.33
2032 253.58
2033 268.97

 

Plastics Market Overview

Plastics are polymers that are widely used because they are versatile, lightweight, flexible, and easily moldable. Plastics are used in the making of containers, automobiles, stationery items, household items, and construction, and the list of uses is never-ending. Plastics are made of petroleum. There are several advancements that also produce eco-friendly plastics that can be made from corn or cotton cellulose. These plastics are durable and biodegradable as well.

It is lightweight and strong. Research and development are constantly working on improving plastic strength. Being easily moldable, it has many applications. Its flexibility allows innovations in packaging, construction, electronics, and many other industries. Plastics are cost-effective, and the production of plastics can cost less than metal or glass. The cost advantage ensures that plastic is accessible and affordable to many customers and businesses. Hence, it promotes economic development. Plastic containers and packaging are used for food delivery, as they also help preserve the shelf life of food. This quality is helpful for the pharmaceutical industry. Plastic, being lightweight, also saves fuel and reduces transportation costs.

Plastics Market Growth Factors

  • Plastic is versatile and light and can be used as a substitute for a wide variety of products.
  • Ability to reuse and recycle plastic products to some extent.
  • Helps in the growth of a large number of industries due to its multifaceted applications.

Plastics Market Scope

Report Coverage Details
Growth Rate from 2024 to 2033 CAGR of 4.21%
Plastics Market Size in 2023 USD 624.84 Billion
Plastics Market Size in 2024 USD 651.15 Billion
Plastics Market Size by 2033 USD 943.76 Billion
Largest Market Asia Pacific
Base Year 2023
Forecast Period 2024 to 2033
Segments Covered By Product, By Application, and By End-use
Regions Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa

 

Plastics Market Dynamics

Driver

Multipurpose applications

Plastic is heavily used in innumerable places, and the list of uses can be never-ending. We have so much plastic being used around us, but we just don’t notice it much. From a plastic pen to a plastic body in a car, there are so many places and things where plastic plays a major role. Plastics are lightweight, and more focus is given to making them stronger and more durable. They are used in aircraft and automobiles to make the vehicles more fuel efficient. Of the entire car volume, 50% is plastic, and it comprises a very small proportion of car weight. When cars consume less fuel, it also contributes to less CO2 emission. Plastics are bad conductors of electricity and are used in electrical appliances to insulate cables and wires.

Restraint

Environmental harm and pollution

The biggest restraint in the plastics market is the pollution it causes. Plastic gained dominance in the 20th century and then gave rise to many problems. This was because plastics decompose at an extremely slow rate (They almost don’t decompose at all). There used to be a lack of knowledge regarding plastic recycling; however, even today, a large amount of plastic goes unrecycled and is decomposed. This gives rise to many environmental problems. Many users don’t recycle because recycling can be more expensive than producing fresh plastics. The unrecycled plastic keeps accumulating in landfills and can affect aquatic habitats.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there was a plastic waste leakage of 6.1 million tonnes and 1.7 million tonnes into the oceans. At this moment, there are around 30 million tonnes of plastic waste in seas and oceans. There is a further accumulation of 109 million tonnes in rivers.

Limitations in recycling

Although plastics are known for their flexibility and the property of being molded, there are several plastics that cannot be recycled, as they undergo certain chemical changes after being freshly made and can lose their properties if one tries to remold them. Hence, such plastics have to be discarded and cannot be recycled. For example, thermoset plastics have irreversible bonds that cannot be recycled. Such plastics can keep accumulating in the environment and lead to serious environmental problems. Hence, the disposal of such plastics is a challenge in itself.

Opportunities

Growth in the automotive sector

Plastics have a wide range of uses. Apart from the long list of uses where plastic is used, the automotive industry shows a heavy use of plastics. Plastics comprise around 50% of the entire automotive volume and only 10% of the vehicle's weight. Plastic is lightweight and hence reduces fuel consumption, saving money and the environment. The car interior, seat covers, fabrics, and many other components in an automobile are made of high-quality plastic.

A boost in the construction industry

Plastic is irreplaceable in the construction industry. Cables, wires, bathwares, pipes, and many more things in the construction industry are made up of plastics. They are lightweight and strong, so transporting them is an easy task. Unlike metals, they are corrosion resistant. They can be easily installed and fitted, as many plastics have snap-fit-lock systems because of the flexibility offered by plastics. Many pigments can be added to plastics, and they are available in a range of vibrant colors. They are good insulators and are widely used in electric appliances, wires, and cables. Plastics are easy to see and nail, and they can be removed easily as well.

Product Insights

The plastics market was dominated by the polyethylene segment. Polyethylene is the most common and popular type of plastic. It is used in shopping bags, bottles, and toys, and a large proportion of the plastic market is covered by polyethylene. It is highly ductile and flexible. It gets stretched but does not break because of strength. Polyethylene is water resistant and has a high durability. It is a good insulator and is used in wiring or cables. Low-density polyethylene has good transparency and is used in packaging. Polyethylene can be recycled, too.

The polypropylene segment is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the plastics market. Polypropylene is the second most popular plastic. Polypropylene does not react with acids and, hence, is used as a container for acids. Since it doesn't corrode, polypropylene is used in pipes. It also has a good resistance against freezing. It is easily moldable, and this process of remolding can be done many times. It is highly impermeable to water and is hence used in products like raincoats. Polypropylene is also used to carry huge loads, as it has a high tensile strength.

Application Insights

The injection molding segment dominated the plastics market in 2023. Injection molding is a process where plastic granules or powder are put into a machine, which is then further melted and processed to make finished plastic products. Injection molding has a higher accuracy rate and works at a high efficiency. Every cycle is completed in only around 2 minutes. It is cost-saving as well. Higher efficiency allows the production of more products in a short time. Due to high accuracy and precision, injection molding is used to produce complex machine parts. The parts produced have high strength. Various vibrant colors can be added while processing to produce aesthetic products. Labor costs are low in injection molding.

The thermoforming segment is expected to witness the fastest growth in the plastics market during the forecast period. In this process, plastic is formed into sheets and then trimmed to make products. This process is useful for huge plastic products, and the molding process can be versatile, unlike other processes of plastic molding limited to smaller items. Almost all types of plastics are suitable for thermoforming. Thermoforming is a simpler technology where one can create high-quality products in a short time span.

End-use Insights

The packaging segment dominated the plastics market in 2023. Packaging is a booming market because of a rise in e-commerce business. The packaging industry is expanding in personal and household care, food and beverage, pharma, and several other industries. Plastic is lightweight and flexible, and several e-commerce companies package the goods in high-quality plastic packaging, which ensures that the product is not damaged. Plastics are also engineered so that they can withstand extreme environments and temperatures and preserve product quality. The packages can also be printed, and this makes them good packaging material.

The building & construction segment will expand substantially during the forecast period. Plastic is lightweight and strong. It can be transported easily to construction sites. The products don't corrode easily. Acrylic is highly used because of its optical clarity, resistance to scratches, and rigidness. It is used for LCD screens, windows, and other applications. Composites are made up of two or more constituents that improve the characteristics of the combined product. Polycarbonate is used to create sustainable plastic building supplies. It is a plastic that can be melted and recast several times. It has a high level of optical clarity.

Plastics Market Recent Developments

  • In April 2024, LyondellBasell revealed the inauguration of a plastic recycling venture in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province, South China, in collaboration with Genox Recycling. The company will recycle plastic waste and generate new polymers.

Plastics Market Companies

  • SABIC
  • Dow, Inc.
  • DuPont
  • Evonik Industries AG
  • Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.
  • Arkema
  • Celanese Corporation
  • Eastman Chemical Company
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC
  • Lotte Chemical Corporation
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Formosa Plastics Corporation
  • Covestro AG
  • Toray Industries, Inc.
  • Mitsui & Co. Plastics Ltd.
  • Teijin Limited
  • INEOS Group
  • Eni S.p.A.
  • LG Chem
  • LANXESS
  • CHIMEI
  • Huntsman International LLC
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC
  • LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V.
  • RTP Company

Segments Covered in the Report

By Product

  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polyurethane (PU)
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT)
  • Polyphenylene Oxide (PPO)
  • Epoxy Polymers
  • Liquid Crystal Polymers (LCP)
  • Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyamide (PA)
  • Polysulfone (PSU)
  • Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU)
  • Others

By Application

  • Injection Molding
  • Blow Molding
  • Roto Molding
  • Compression Molding
  • Casting
  • Thermoforming
  • Extrusion
  • Calendering
  • Others

By End-use

  • Packaging
  • Building & Construction
  • Electrical & Electronics
  • Automotive
  • Medical Devices
  • Agriculture
  • Furniture & Bedding
  • Consumer Goods
  • Utility
  • Others

By Geography

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the plastics industry?
The global plastics market size is expected to increase USD 943.76 billion by 2033 from USD 624.84 billion in 2023.
What is the growth rate of the plastics industry?
The global plastics market will register growth rate of 4.21% between 2024 and 2033.
Who are the prominent players operating in the plastics market?
The major players operating in the plastics market are SABIC, Dow, Inc., DuPont, Evonik Industries AG, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., Arkema, Celanese Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC, Lotte Chemical Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, Covestro AG, Toray Industries, Inc., Mitsui & Co. Plastics Ltd., Teijin Limited, INEOS Group, Eni S.p.A., LG Chem, LANXESS, CHIMEI, Huntsman International LLC, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC, LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V., RTP Company, and Others.
Which are the driving factors of the plastics market?
The driving factors of the plastics market are the rise in e-commerce business and gowinf packaging industry.
Which region will lead the global plastics market?
Asia Pacific region will lead the global plastics market during the forecast period 2024 to 2033.

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