GVR Report cover Plastic Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Plastic Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (PE, PP, PU, PVC, PET, Polystyrene, ABS, PBT, PPO, Epoxy Polymers, LCP, PC, Polyamide), By Application, By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Apr 2021
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-232-7
  • Number of Pages: 230
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2019

Report Overview

The global plastic market size was valued at USD 579.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% from 2021 to 2028. Increasing plastic consumption in the construction, automotive, and electrical & electronics industries is projected to support market growth over the forecast period. Regulations on decreasing the gross vehicle weight to improve fuel efficiency and eventually reduce carbon emissions are driving plastic consumption as a substitute for metals, including aluminum and steel, for the manufacturing of automotive components. The growth of the construction industry in emerging markets, such as Brazil, China, India, and Mexico, has been instrumental in fueling the demand for plastics. The growth of the market can be attributed to increased foreign investment in these domestic construction markets as a result of easing FDI norms and requirements for better public and industrial infrastructure.

Global plastic market size, by product, 2016 - 2028 (USD Billion)

The growing population, coupled with the rapid urbanization and industrialization in emerging economies, has been impelling federal governments to increase their construction spending to cater to increasing infrastructure needs. Rising construction spending by governments, particularly in China and India, will drive the demand for plastic in infrastructure and construction applications.

Stringent regulations regarding depletion and recyclability of conventional materials, such as metal and wood, are anticipated to drive greater demand for plastic from the construction industries in insulation, pipes, cables, floorings, windows, storage tanks, and others. Polymer fittings are also generally quite simple and easy to install, compared to metals or wood, with a wide range of color combinations adding to their aesthetic appeal. Plastics have 85% less specific gravity compared to metals. When used in the automotive and construction industries, they enable approximately 80% weight savings and 30% to 50% cost savings in individual components.

However, slowdown or halt in manufacturing activities to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is negatively impacting the demand for plastic in various end-use industries, such as automotive, packaging, utility, and consumer goods. Moreover, the increasing positive cases of COVID-19 across the globe are positively influencing the demand for plastic in medical devices, such as testing equipment, ventilators, gloves, syringes, surgical trays, and medical bags.

Product Insights

In terms of revenue, polyethylene held the largest share of more than 25.0% in 2020. It is primarily used in the packaging sector, which includes containers and bottles, plastic bags, plastic films, and geomembranes. It finds use in various applications. Based on its molecular weight, there are different types of polymers of PE such as HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE. For instance, low molecular weight polymers of PE find use in lubricants, medium molecular weight polymers are used as wax miscible with paraffin, and high molecular weight polymers are commonly used in the plastic industry.

Rising demand for packaged food, trays, bottles for milk and fruit juices, crates, caps for food packaging, drums, and other liquid food packaging owing to restrictions on the movement of people to reduce the spread of COVID-19 across the world is expected to drive the demand for polyethylene in the coming years. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is one of the promising product segments in the market. ABS is widely used in consumer goods and electrical and electronics applications and is gaining popularity owing to its excellent rigidity, high strength, and dimensional stability.

It is a tough material and is resistant to corrosive chemicals, physical impact, and heat. Thermoplastics such as ABS liquefy allow them to be easily injection molded and recycled. However, ABS is not used in high-heat situations because of its low melting point. LEGO toys and computer keyboards are also significant applications for ABS compounds. ABS is also used in manufacturing drain-waste-vent pipe systems, plastic clarinets, golf club heads, musical instruments, enclosures for electrical and electronic assemblies, automotive trim components, and protective headgears among various others.

Application Insights

In terms of revenue, the injection molding application segment held the largest share of over 43.0% in 2020. Injection molding is a commonly used method for producing custom plastic parts. It is a discontinuous process as the plastic parts are produced in molds and required to be cooled before being removed. This process requires an injection molding machine, molds, and plastic materials. The molten plastic is injected into a mold cavity and then cooled to create the final product. It is generally used in the production of automobile parts, containers, and medical devices among others.

Calendering is one of the potential application segments in the market. It is used to process thermoplastic materials into films and sheeting. It is mainly used for PVC as well as certain other modified thermoplastics. The process consists of five steps, pre-blending, fluxing, calendering, cooling, and winding-up. It allows specialty surface treatments of films or sheets such as enhancing or embossing the physical properties or in-line lamination. The growing packaging industry is driving the demand for films and sheets, which, in turn, is further creating the demand for Calendering.

End-use Insights

The packaging end-use segment held the largest revenue share of more than 36.0% in 2020. Packaging is a high-potential end-use segment with moderate penetration. Plastics have been an integral part of the packaging industry. Furthermore, the advent of bio-based plastic has also played a significant role in food, pharmaceutical, and beverage packaging applications. Plastics such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polycarbonates (PC) are increasingly being used in the packaging of beverages, consumer goods, appliances, toys, and apparel. The packaging of appliances is expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities for the segment.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the packaging industry is expected to remain moderate over the forecast period. The demand for packaging for healthcare products, groceries, and e-commerce transportation has increased sharply, while the demand for luxury, industrial, and some B2B transport packaging declined due to the suspension or slowdown of industrial production.

Global plastic market share, by end-use, 2020 (%)

Moreover, the demand for plastic in consumer packaging is expected to shift severely toward food packaging owing to the shutdown of restaurants and food service outlets during the pandemic. The stockpile and panic purchases of food, groceries, and other homecare necessities are further expected to boost the aforementioned trend.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific (including China) dominated the market and accounted for over 44.0% share of the global revenue in 2020. The growing manufacturing sector is expected to propel the demand for plastic in the automotive, construction, packaging, and electrical and electronics industries. In the recent past, India and China have witnessed a spike in automotive production owing to technology transfer to the sector from the Western markets.

In addition, a well-established manufacturing base for electrical and electronics in Taiwan, China, and South Korea is anticipated to provide further impetus to the market. India has a strong chemical manufacturing industry base, which strengthens its plastic production. Rapid urbanization, improving economic conditions, and increasing infrastructural activities are the factors supporting the growth of the market in Asia Pacific.

China is the largest supplier and producer of plastic components in this region. The growth of the automotive and electronic market and subsequent demand for lightweight components to improve the efficiency of the vehicle and reduce the weight of electronics components are the major factors contributing to the demand for plastic in the country.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The competitive rivalry among producers is high owing to the presence of several players in the market. The global market is highly fragmented in nature with the presence of various key players as well as a few medium and small regional players operating in different parts of the world. Strategic partnerships, capacity expansions, and new product developments are popular strategies adopted by a majority of the players operating in the market for plastics. Some prominent players in the global plastic market include:



  • Dow Inc.

  • DuPont de Nemours, Inc.

  • Evonik Industries

  • Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.

  • Arkema

  • Celanese Corporation

  • Eastman Chemical Company

  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC

  • Lotte Chemical Corporation

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation

  • Formosa Plastic Corporation

  • Covestro AG

  • Toray Industries, Inc.

  • Mitsui & Co. Plastic Ltd.

Plastic Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 593.0 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 750.1 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 3.4% from 2021 to 2028 (Revenue-based)

Market demand in 2021

317,937.5 kilotons

Volume forecast in 2028

375,566.9 kilotons

Growth Rate

CAGR of 2.4% from 2021 to 2028 (Volume-based)

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million/billion, and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, end-use, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; China; Asia Pacific (excluding China); Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; Germany; France; U.K.; Italy; Spain; Poland; India; Japan; Southeast Asia; Brazil; Argentina; Chile; Colombia; Other CSA; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates (UAE); Oman; Kenya; South Africa

Key companies profiled

BASF SE; SABIC; Dow Inc.; DuPont de Nemours, Inc.; Evonik Industries; Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.; Arkema; Celanese Corporation; Eastman Chemical Company; Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., LLC; Lotte Chemical Corporation; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Formosa Plastic Corporation; Covestro AG; Toray Industries, Inc.; Mitsui & Co. Plastic Ltd.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent to up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope report, we will provide it to you as a part of customization

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global plastic market report on the basis of product, application, end-use, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Polyethylene (PE)

    • Polypropylene (PP)

    • Polyurethane (PU)

    • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

    • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

    • Polystyrene (PS)

    • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

    • Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)

    • Polyphenylene Oxide (PPO)

    • Epoxy Polymers

    • Liquid Crystal Polymers

    • Polyether ether ketone (PEEK)

    • Polycarbonate (PC)

    • Polyamide (PA)

    • Polysulfone (PSU)

    • Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU)

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Injection Molding

    • Blow Molding

    • Roto Molding

    • Compression Molding

    • Casting

    • Thermoforming

    • Extrusion

    • Calendering

    • Others

  • End-use Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Packaging

    • Construction

    • Electrical & Electronics

    • Automotive

    • Medical Devices

    • Agriculture

    • Furniture & Bedding

    • Consumer Goods

    • Utility

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

      • U.K.

      • Italy

      • Poland

      • Spain

    • China

    • Asia Pacific (excluding China)

      • India

      • Japan

      • Southeast Asia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

      • Chile

      • Colombia

      • Other CSA (Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru)

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia

      • United Arab Emirates (UAE)

      • Oman

      • Kenya

      • South Africa

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