Commodity plastics are a class of plastic materials that are used in large volumes in a variety of applications including packaging, films, tapes, clothing, containers and a wide range of household products. These types of plastics are utilized in applications where mechanical properties and product service environments are less critical. This class of plastics is usually available at low costs and are not used for high performance specialized applications. The end use products include plates, cups, trays, containers, printed materials, signs and displays among other disposable products. Commodity plastics include a wide array of polymer chemistries such as polyethylene, polystyrene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate and many others.
Commodity plastics are primarily used in low cost, low mechanical stress, flexible product solutions. They are extensively used by consumer goods manufacturers and packaging industry for a wide range of applications. It is widely used for manufacturing films and extruded sheets for use in packaging, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automotives and agriculture industries among several others. Commodity plastics are used due to their physical and chemical properties. Commodity plastics are lighter, structurally stable, and resistant to abrasion, chemicals and weather. These materials are easily recyclable and versatile in forming nature. Commodity plastics can be easily molded into a variety of shapes and have higher tensile strength and flexibility when compared to other materials available for similar purposes. These plastics have successfully replaced metals and ceramics for various household goods, especially low cost, disposable utensils.
The commodity plastics market is driven by its demand in fast moving consumer goods including disposable utensils and containers, bottles, etc. and packaging materials for foods, beverages, personal care products and pharmaceutical products. Commodity plastics find applications in wide range of packaging applications, coating formulations, emulsions, and disposable films for many uses. However, rising awareness about the harmful effects of non biodegradable plastics among the general population and stringent environmental regulations, especially in developed countries of North America and Europe is expected to be the major restraining factor for the commodity plastics market. New biodegradable plastics with better recyclability could be a prospective opportunity for further demand growth in the market.
In terms of geography, Asia Pacific is the largest consumer of commodity plastics riding on high sales of end use application products to its large population base. Major industrial economies including China, India, Japan and South Korea are the major consumers of menthol for application in a variety of fast moving consumer goods. Two of the most populated countries, China and India are situated in Asia. Both these countries are growing rapidly and witnessing rising disposable income and purchase power parity of the general population. This in turn is expected to drive demand for consumer goods and further for commodity plastics. Major market players have established their production facilities in asia owing to the availability of cheap labor and land and comparatively lenient norms and regulations against chemicals and plastics. North America is another major consumer for commodity plastics especially in the packaging and disposable products. In Rest of the World, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa contribute to major demand for the market. Europe is expected to witness comparatively slower growth than other regions due to stringent government control over potentially harmful products.
Some of the market players include Mitsubishi Chemicals, LG Chem, Dow Chemical Company, BASF SE and Arkema SA among many others.
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