Region/Countries: Asia, India Industry: Other, Water / Clean Technology Date: August 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies with the equipment and technology to recycle plastic waste

Plastics is one of the fastest growing industries in India and is playing a vital role in the Indian economy. India is a growing market for plastics, consuming about 12.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) of plastics annually, compared to global consumption of 285 MMT annually. India has about 30,000 processing units (about 75 percent are small-scale) with 113,000 processing machines, creating an annual manufacturing capacity of 30 MMT.

The per capita consumption of polymers in India is around 10.5 kg (23 lbs), as compared to 109 kg (240 lbs) in the U.S., 45 kg (99 lbs) in China and 32 kg (71 lbs) in Brazil. Per capita consumption in India will be growing to 20 kg (44 lbs) by 2020. The current low level of per capita plastics consumption in India indicates the immense growth potential, signaling opportunities for foreign entrants in the market.

In the past, plastics use in India was largely limited to household consumer durables and packaging. Today, plastics are the material of choice in packaging for sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and agriculture. Growth in the automotive, organized retail and infrastructure sectors, rising population, rising incomes, changing lifestyles and a boom in e-commerce are all trends that are fueling the growth of the plastics industry in India. For the most part, plastic and plastic products have replaced wood products in India.

High inflation and rising prices, lack of a skilled workforce, difficulty in procuring raw materials due to a weak infrastructure, growing environmental concerns, and the challenges of recycling mixed plastic waste and plastic recovery are among the challenges the industry faces.

Although plastic has a negative reputation as a polluting material, the benefits of using it are manifold. Increased recycling and reuse of plastics will be an important for repairing its reputation. Many opportunities exist in India for Wisconsin companies in equipment and technologies for recycling plastics waste.

India imported $11.4 billion of plastic in FY 2016, with the U.S. as the fourth-largest source: $839 million in U.S. plastics exports accounted for more than 7 percent of India’s total plastics imports.

The industry has invested $5 billion in machinery and is expected to make further investments of $10 billion to increase capacity over the next five years.

To restrict cheap plastic machinery imports, the Indian government has imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 44.7 percent on imports of plastics processing machines from Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam for five years.