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Rapid growth in India’s plastics industry

April 1, 2019
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The industry supports several other key sectors, including automotive, construction, consumer goods electronics and health care.

India’s plastics industry contributes to the growth of various other key sectors, such as automotive, construction, consumer durables, electronics, health care, textiles and packaging. India’s plastics industry is one of the largest in the world, valued at $26 billion and with an estimated volume of 16 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) for 2017-18. The market is expected to cross 20 MMTPA by 2020. The country is the third-largest consumer of polymers in the world. Demand is strong for new and advanced equipment and technologies to increase output and improve quality.

Currently, more than 30,000 plastics processing units employ more than 4 million people across the country. Around 85% to 90% of these units are small and midsize enterprises. Despite this, the growth rate of the Indian plastics industry is one of the highest in the world. Plastic consumption is growing at 16% percent per annum. The packaging sector alone consumes over 45% of the plastic used in the country, followed by the construction industry at 22%. Meanwhile, the sector has yet to reach its full potential, as indicated by the low per capita consumption level of 13 kg, compared to the U.S. average of 109 kg and a global average of 28 kg. Per capita consumption in India will be growing to 20 kg by 2020.

During 2017-18, India imported plastic resin and articles worth $13.93 billion, an increase of over 20% from the 2016-17 amount of $11.57 billion. At $989 million, the U.S. was responsible for a 7% share of India’s total plastic resin and articles imported in FY 2017-18. In the same period, India exported $6.35 billion in this category.

India has over 7,500 recycling units, of which less than half are organized. Only 60% of plastic waste is recycled, and 40% percent goes uncollected, and therefore ends up in landfills and drains. This plastic waste offers huge opportunities for plastic recycling technology and equipment providers.

The Indian government plans to set up 10 plastic parks to nurture the domestic plastic processing industry. These industrial parks will be created in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Haryana. To promote the domestic plastics industry, the government has deregulated the petrochemical sector and allowed 100% percent FDI under the automatic route to facilitate fresh investment.

The Indian plastics industry presents excellent opportunities for Wisconsin resin, processing machinery, tool and plastic products suppliers. It also offers opportunities in plastic waste management and recycling equipment and technology.

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