This report focuses on the manufacture of plastics and plastic products in South Africa, including information on the size of the sector, trade statistics and factors that influence its performance. There are profiles of 52 companies including Sasol and Safripol, which dominate the production of primary plastics, major plastic product producers including Berry Astrapak, (RPC Astrapak), Nampak, Transpaco, Mpact and Polyoak Packaging and other players such as NCS Resins.
Manufacture of Plastics and Plastic Products in South Africa
Only a few companies are involved in the production of primary plastics, but a large number of companies convert primary plastics into finished plastic products through processing techniques such as blow moulding, extrusion, injection moulding, rotational moulding and thermoforming, and most are SMEs. The performance of local manufacturers of plastics and plastic products has been affected by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, weak economic conditions, rising input costs and growing environmental concerns. While the volume of plastic products manufactured decreased in the year to February 2021, the sales value of these products rose.
The poor economy, pressure on consumer spending, the high cost of primary plastics, the relatively small size of the local and regional markets, skills shortages and the high cost of electricity are providing challenges for the industry. There has been high demand for PVC products due to the construction of gas, water and telecommunication infrastructure projects, but supply problems and high prices are affecting the sustainability of manufacturers.
The industry is working on a master plan, while The South African Initiative to End Plastic Waste has established working groups to focus on technology, innovation and design, infrastructure, bioplastics and alternatives, education and awareness, the incorporation of waste pickers, and standards and compliance. Stakeholders have agreed to various initiatives including a focus on establishing proper municipal collection systems, extended producer responsibility schemes and recycling.