Plastic demand worldwide predicted to triple in next eight years


Global demand for recovered plastics is set to triple in the space of eight years, according to BIR Plastics Committee chairman Surendra Borad.

The chairman of Belgian company Gemini Corporation was speaking at the recent BIR convention in Shanghai.


He quoted figures from consultant Poyry, which suggests that annual consumption of plastic will leap from 15 million tonnes in 2007 to 45 million tonnes by 2015.

Poyry has suggested that recovered plastics demand will surge to 85 million tonnes by 2020, which Surendra Borad described as “an incredible amount”.

These figures were backed up by a projection from CBI China that Chinese demand alone for recovered plastics could top 29 million tonnes by 2015.

China (including Hong Kong) was currently importing 8 to 9 million tonnes of plastic scrap each year, while domestic collection was around 13 million tonnes.

He also confirmed that he had urged the European Commission to make a clearer distinction between ‘illegal shipments’ and ‘shipments in violation of the EU regulation’.

Those in the latter category, he said “may be due to missing papers or incomplete or inaccurate paperwork or administrative mistakes” and that the volume of illegal shipments from Europe “may not be as much as it is perceived to be”.

Fukutomi Company managing director Steve Wong, who is also president of the China Scrap Plastic Association, said that the country’s green fence import initiative was making life more difficult for those who rely in plastics scrap in China. This has led to them pay more for their raw material, which has had an impact on competitiveness.

He noted that the trading of import licences was forbidden and that plastics scrap “must be delivered to the factory, which is eligible to import, as stated on the import licence”.