PLASTICS IN THE TWENTIES,
ANTEC, CHICAGO 2004
Françoise Pardos, Pardos Marketing, February 2006
Plastics end-uses and applications
Plastics consumption is linked to the average GNI. And it also grows
faster than GNI. In 2000, an average GNI of $15,000 per capita, and
more, means more than 60 kg of plastics per capita. An average per
capita GNI of $2,500 or less means less than 15 kg per capita.
The world GNI per capita average of $ 5 700 in 2000, means average
plastics consumption of 25 kg. In 2020, the average GNI of $ 6 800
per capita, will shifts to plastics consumption at over 70 kg per
Plastics have been a success story, for their unique
Plastics truly are miracle materials, infinite combinations of various
molecules, creating these multiple polymers, in the true heart of
matter. The main characteristic of plastics is to offer a combination
of many properties, none outstanding, but synergistic. Plastics can
be, both, flexible glass and transparent metal.
The definition of plastics in this paper only includes solid
The future demand for plastics is driven:
By the continuing demand of the developed economies, slower, but
based upon very large tonnage,
By the build-up of the demand of the developing economies, a replay
of the last thirty years, with latest innovations.
All plastics applications develop in the emerging economies, as
a multiple in tonnage, by-passing all the intermediate steps of traditional
materials, for the immediate choice of the latest all plastic solutions.
Forecasts in plastics rely on end-uses and applications.
Plastics end-using industries in 2004, in %
of total plastics consumption were split as follows:
|Building, public works
|Automobile and vehicles
Among the end-using industries, the active applications
In packaging, the fastest growing applications:
- PET bottles with barriers
- BOPP films
- All barriers, with nano composites
The main trends in packaging are:
- More plastics packaging, glass, paper, metal, down
- Shift to flexible packaging, lighter packages
- Search for single materials
- More functional packaging, smart labels
In building construction, there are:
- Huge demand in emerging countries
- Building and public works multiplied by 5, in China, India,
- America. 180 000 km of new roads in China to 2020, for instance.
The main trends in building construction are:
- Polyolefins replacing PVC in pipes
- Growth of windows, not only PVC
- Applications for wood and fiber composites
- Geomembranes and public works
- Increasing uses for waste of mixed plastics
In the electrical and telectronics industries, E/E
Half the world requires electrical networks
Demand for household first equipment everywhere Major developments
in telectronics, replacement and new, office, telephones, audio-visual
More competition between plastics, PP wins
In automobile and other vehicle industries
The growing car industry, just for private cars, that was 52 millions
in 2002 will be 100 millions in 2020, many with new energy.
The growing use of plastics per car will rise from 100 kg now, to
at least 200 kg in 2020, and cars will be lighter.
The fastest growing applications in cars are:
- Complete plastics inroads into gas tanks
- Complete plastics inroads under the hood
- Lights and glazing of plastics instead of glass
- Car bodies of plastics and new designs
In agriculture, there will be:
- Growth of more sophisticated techniques
- Fastest developments in films for greenhouses, tunnels, mulching,
- Both plain films and very functional films
- Irrigation and drip irrigation
The major growth is to be in warmer countries, with at least 10-12
% annual growth
Taking an ecological vision, plastics can also
be split into three categories:
- Disposables, less than one year life, 75 million tons of plastics
in 2000, 200 million tons in 2020.
- Durables, 5-15 year life, 45 million tons of plastics in 2000,
140 million tons in 2020.
- Infrastructures, over 20 year life, 35 million tons of plastics
in 2000, 200 million tons in 2020.
New and fast growing plastics
Biodegradable, polylactic polymers PLA
Major impact of metallocenes, not only PE
Revival of polyaliphatic ketones?
Many more alloys
Composites, also with wood and fibers
Mineral polymers, trends to silica polymers
The plastics development and trends, in the last forty years, historically,
with the first development and diversification of the plastics industry,
15% a year between 1955 and 1975 was built upon a three-step
Fast economic growth of the Western world after the war,
First investment into new durables, with improved standard of living,
housing, cars, appliances,
Substitution of traditional materials by plastics
The plastics consumption forecasts in the developing world will
rest, like in the Western world, on:
General economic growth, 5-7% a year, average,
Building up the needed infrastructures, buildings, electricity and
water distribution, sewage, irrigation, telecommunications,
Providing basic requirements in consumer goods, agriculture, packaging.
back to the top of the page