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Plastics Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Polyvinyl Chloride, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polyamide, Polycarbonate, Polyurethane, Polystyrene), By End-Use Industry (Packaging, Automotive & Transportation, Infrastructure & Construction, Consumer Goods/Lifestyle, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical, Electrical & Electronics, Textile), and Regional Forecast, 2019-2026

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102176



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The global plastics market size stood at USD 441.55 billion in 2018 is projected to reach USD 647.48 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period.

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Plastics are the polymers with high molecular mass and are derived from petrochemicals and renewable sources, such as cotton fibers and corn. The majority of these polymers are composed of chains of carbon atoms with the additions of nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur. They are used in the production of a wide variety of products ranging from paper clips to spacecraft due to their versatility, moldability, easy manufacturing, lightweight, low cost, and waterproof nature.

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Plastics are majorly classified into thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers, depending on their ability to be repeatedly molded by the application of heat. They are also made from renewable biomass sources, such as corn starch, sawdust, vegetable fats and oil, food waste and hence, are called as bioplastics. The depleting sources of common plastics, such as natural gas and petroleum, have encouraged manufacturers to use renewable sources. Moreover, rising awareness about the environmental harms caused by plastics is influencing the polymer manufacturers to produce recyclable plastics.


“Increasing Demand for Plastics from Packaging Industry to Drive the Plastics Market”

The demand for plastics is advancing in various industries, such as electrical & electronics, food & beverage, automotive, and consumer goods. In the food & beverage industry, consumption of plastics is increasing at a rapid rate owing to the rising demand for packaging material. Manufacturers are preferring effective packaging to decrease the possibility of food contamination and quality degradation. The ability of plastics to act as a barrier between the food products and the external environment is raising the demand for plastics.

Besides, the use of plastics in sports, fashion, plastic (polymer) clay and toys is increasing due to their durability and ability to resist physical stresses. Besides, they provide flexibility in packaging and allow easy molding of products. In the textile sector, the application of plastics is growing owing to its high elasticity, durability, and enhanced visual appeal. Moreover, the rigid nature of plastics makes them suitable for the packaging of automotive and electrical spare parts. Hence, the increasing application of polymers across food & beverage, textile, electrical & electronics, automotive, and consumer goods industries is augmenting the plastics market growth.


By Type Analysis

“Polyethylene Segment Likely to Lead Throughout the Forecast Period”

The plastics market is segmented into polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyamide, polycarbonate, polyurethane, polystyrene, and others, on the basis of types. Amongst these, polyethylene and polypropylene are the major types of plastics owing to their high demand from the end-users such as packaging and automotive. Several manufacturers use plastics for packaging their products as they are durable and act as a barrier between moisture and the product. The use of plastics in the automotive industry is increasing as manufacturers are reducing the weight of the vehicle to increase efficiency and minimize carbon emission.     

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is mainly used in the production of pipes & fittings due to its possession of numerous properties such as high modulus of elasticity, electric insulation, resistance towards chemicals, and thermal insulation. The construction industry uses PVC products such as doors, windows, and frames owing to their longer life-cycle, enhanced looks, and easy availability of material.  

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is used on a large scale for packaging and bottling application. It witnessed high demand from the packaging of food & beverage industries as it is non-toxic, lightweight, strong, and can be recycled easily. Due to its strong and flexible nature, PET is also the preferred plastic for 3D printing. Polyamide is majorly used in the textile industry due to its strong and flexible properties. Polyamide exhibits good elasticity, high tensile strength, and is wrinkle-proof. These benefits make it suitable for the usage in clothes, mats, and other products.

Polyurethane, in the form of foam, witnessed high demand from the furniture and automotive industries. Polycarbonate is mainly used for electrical & electronics applications due to its high electrical insulation property. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a rigid, hard, and tough plastic that provides resistance to the chemicals. Hence, it is used in camera bodies, housing appliances, packing crates, and luggage. Polystyrene has exhibited high demand from the electronics and packaging industries owing to its insulating and cushioning properties.

By End-Use Industry Analysis

“Packaging Segment Is Expected to Generate the Highest Revenue”

Based on the end-use industry, the plastics industry is categorized into packaging, automotive & transportation, infrastructure & construction, consumer goods/lifestyle, healthcare & pharmaceutical, electrical & electronics, textile, and others. The packaging segment holds the largest polymers market share in 2018 and is expected to remain the largest throughout the forecast period because of the high demand for polyethylene from the plastic manufacturing industry. They are mainly used in packaging solutions for the food & beverage industry.

The infrastructure & construction segment is considered to be the second-most prominent segment in terms of end-use industry. The growing usage of plastics in the production of numerous construction-related products, such as flooring, countertop, films and sheets for windows, roofing, cover building materials, and fittings & pipes, is expected to surge the demand for plastics from the infrastructure & construction end-use industry.

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Similarly, the automotive & transportation and consumer goods/lifestyle end-use industries are expected to contribute to substantial growth in the sale of plastics in the forecast period. The rising adoption of plastics in the automotive industry to increase vehicle efficiency and the life of vehicle components are responsible for the growth in the plastic market. Properties such as easy moldability, high durability, and flexibility make polymers the most preferred material for the manufacturing of numerous products such as iceboxes, plastic containers, housewares, toys, sports goods, and packaging material. These factors will drive the growth of the polymers market.

The increasing use of plastics in the healthcare sector can be credited to its property of guarding against the contamination by acting as a barrier. Healthcare-related products such as gloves, syringes, bandage strips, blood bags, and prosthetics are manufactured using several plastics. In the electrical & electronics industry, plastics are used in the production of household appliances, switches, and light fittings due to their insulating properties.


Asia Pacific accounted for the highest share of the plastics market in 2018 and is expected to remain largest throughout the forecast period due to China and India being the leading plastic consuming countries. China is expected to remain the leading country due to the availability of raw materials at low rates, which is, in turn, minimizing the hurdles involved in the production of plastics. Increasing demand for plastics in Asia Pacific is also attributed to the presence of industries such as packaging and infrastructure & construction, which are driving the market in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, increasing demand for plastics from the consumer goods industry for manufacturing sports goods, toys, and textiles is also driving the plastic market in this region.

North America Plastics Market Size, 2018

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In North America, the U.S. accounted for the largest plastics market share due to the increasing demand for plastics from the electrical & electronics, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, packaging, and automotive industries. On the other hand, Europe is projected to witness significant growth in the polymers market. The increasing demand for plastics from the automotive industry would contribute to the growth of the market in the region. Plastic is a preferred material due to its possession of properties such as electric insulation, corrosion inhibition, excellent heat resistance, and low density. Infrastructure & construction is another end-use industry which is expected to increase the use of plastics in the region because of its high rigidity and tensile strength.

In the Middle East & Africa, the key factors influencing the growth of the market is the increasing demand from the packaging and textile industries. In this region, packaging is a primary application of plastics. The rise in demand for lightweight and feasible packaging and the use of polymers over glass and metal are set to upsurge the plastic market revenue.

Latin America is projected to witness considerable growth in the plastics industry. Brazil is the largest market for plastics in this region. The increasing consumption of plastics because of the rising urbanization and the growing number of packaging industries are some factors expected to boost the polymer market growth.


“Key Players to Strengthen their Position by Providing Plastic Solutions to the Packaging Industry”

The major producers of plastics are present throughout the globe. One of the most significant companies called LyondellBasell, deals with the plastics, chemicals, and refining sectors. It provides a wide variety of plastic products. The company has shown dominance around the globe by applying the strategy of an acquisition. It is also keeping up with the latest plastics market trends to serve it’s consumer base efficiently. ExxonMobil, on the other hand, is expanding its business throughout the globe by using strategies such as joint venture and by providing a diversified range of plastics products. SABIC, another key player, has a strong influence in the Middle East & Africa. The company provides numerous grades of plastic products that have helped it in its expansion by forming joint ventures.

List of Key Companies Covered:

  • LyondellBasell

  • Borouge

  • Dow


  • Reliance Industries Limited

  • Braskem

  • China Petroleum Corporation

  • ExxonMobil Chemical

  • Covestro AG

  • Total S.A.

  • Formosa Plastics Group

  • DuPont



  • Inoac Corporation

  • Other key market players


A growing trend is observed in the penetration of the plastics market across the industries. 

The report provides qualitative and quantitative insights on the market and detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. The market is segmented by type, end-use industry, and geography. Based on the type, the polymers market is classified into polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinyl chloride, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polyamide, polycarbonate, polyurethane, polystyrene, and others. By end-use industry, the market is divided into packaging, automotive & transportation, infrastructure & construction, consumer goods/lifestyle, healthcare & pharmaceutical, electrical & electronics, textile, and others. Geographically, the plastic market share has been analyzed across five major regions, which are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. These regions are further categorized into countries.

Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the plastics market report analyse dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are the price trend analysis, recent industry developments in this market, the regulatory scenario in crucial countries, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, and key industry trends, competitive landscape, and company profiles.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Million Ton)


By Type

  • Polyethylene (PE)

  • Polypropylene (PP)

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

  • Polyamide (PA)

  • Polycarbonate (PC)

  • Polyurethane (PU)

  • Polystyrene (PS)

  • Others

By End-Use Industry

  • Packaging

  • Automotive & Transportation

  • Infrastructure & Construction

  • Consumer Goods/Lifestyle

  • Healthcare & Pharmaceutical

  • Electrical & Electronics

  • Textile

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

Key Industry Developments

  • In July 2019, ExxonMobil started the production of a new high-performance polyethylene at its  polyethylene plant located at Beaumont, Texas. This expansion increased the production capacity of plant by 65% or 650 KT per year. The total production capacity of the plant increased up to 1.7 million tons per year.

  • In June 2019, Huntsman Tecnoelastomeri launched a new engineering urethane elastomers named TECNOTHANE VTER. These elestomers work under extreme conditions, require less energy to operate, are customizable, and provide high performance. This will aid the company to expand its product portfolio.

  • In February 2018, SABIC announced projects in the Netherlands and Asia to increase the production capacity of its two materials named NORYL and ULTEM. The new production facility of polyetherimide situated in Singapore is expected to start functioning from 2021.





Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market was valued at USD 441.55 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 647.48 billion by 2026.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% in the forecast period (2019-2026).

The packaging segment is expected to be the leading segment in the markets.

Rising demand for plastics in food & beverage industry is the key factor driving the plastics market growth.

Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest market share of plastics.

The rising demand for recyclable plastics from packaging industry is one of the plastics market trends.

Plastics Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • Feb, 2020
  • 2018
  • 2015-2017
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