The global plastics market is expected to grow rapidly at a healthy CAGR of over 8 % from 2014 to 2020. Plastics are synthetic/semi-synthetic organic solid materials that are used to create various valuable products. On account of the ease of manufacture, low cost, flexibility of use, and availability of raw materials, plastics have replaced a number of conventional materials such as paper, wood, metal, leather, glass, and ceramic in the majority uses. This is also projected to boost the global market. Moreover, various technologies that reprocess plastics are anticipated to be the key growth drivers for the global market.
However, the fluctuating prices of raw materials along with the rising environmental concerns related to plastic disposal are likely to hamper the market growth in the near future. To beat such challenges, the market players have shifted their focus towards developing some bio-based alternatives to usual plastics. The industry is categorized into products, applications, and regions.
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The products sector comprises Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), polystyrene, Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene (PE), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), and engineering thermoplastics. The PE sector dominated the overall plastics market in 2013 accounting for over 35 % of the global market share. The rising demands from various end-use segments such as food & beverage packaging, injection molding, etc. led to the biggest market share. The PET sector is anticipated to be the fastest growing product sector with a CAGR of 9 % from 2014 to 2020. The rising demands for PET plastics from the carbonated soft drink packaging market are projected to further augment the demands for PET plastics during the next few years.
The application sector includes injection molding, film & sheets, construction, packaging, textiles, and transportation. The films & sheets sector occupied over 45 % of the global share in 2013. Films & sheets are mainly utilized in food packaging and pharmaceuticals. This is said to boost the product demands in the near future. The application in plastic pipes is also likely to experience a substantial growth with a CAGR of 6 % over the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific was the largest regional market for plastics in 2013. The European & North American markets are quite mature and are said to grow slowly than other regions. The Central & South America region is estimated to register the maximum CAGR of over 6.5 % from 2014 to 2020.
Major companies in the plastics market are Saudi Basic Industries Corp.; E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; and BASF SE.