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‘Plastics – the Facts’: China gains top production spot

Europe – China has overtaken Europe as the world’s leading plastics producer, according to the latest ‘Plastics – the Facts’ report from European-based organisations PlasticsEurope, EuPC, EuPR and EPRO.

In a continued bounce-back from the 2008 economic crisis which severely hit production figures, the global plastics industry reported a 6% increase in output last year to 265 million tonnes. Also in 2010, plastics producers recorded an overall 17% increase in turnover, while new technologies and improved infrastructures helped to ensure that recycled and recovered plastics volumes increased by an average of 9.3% last year across the EU-27, Norway and Switzerland.

However, this positive news is tempered in the report, with PlasticsEurope’s Market and Economics Manager Claus-Jürgen Simon stating: ‘In the first six months of 2011, we can only notice that the pace of recovery has slowed down because of the reduction in inventory and uncertainty over economic growth. With stable exports and growing imports, the trade surplus is also expected to decrease from 2010.’

Recycled/recovered volumes covered 58% of all used plastics in 2010 but the figures can certainly be improved, according to PlasticsEurope. While nine countries diverted more than 95% of their landfill, 15 countries scored below 40% – although ‘many of these are on a fast track towards landfill diversion’, according to EPRO Co-chairman Francis Huysman.

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