The modern commercial plastics industry was created
in the UK in the 19th century and it is not surprising that the UK is a
growing and innovative force in the global plastics industry.
The UK Plastics industry is a Global leader operating at the cutting edge of technology and constitutes an important UK economic strength. It has an annual sales turnover of over £23.5 billion and employs approximately 170,000.
The industry is a dominant player worldwide in the three core sectors that make up the plastics industry: material and additive manufacture, material processors and machinery manufacture.
There are some 6,200 firms engaged in the UK plastics industry of which about 5,200 are defined as 'manufacturers of plastics products.
The industry has a long and complex supply chain stretching from the producers of plastics raw materials and additives to the end-user (customer industries). Different product groups, for example automotive components and retail packaging, have markedly different supply chains.