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Manufacture of Plastics and Plastic Products
Challenging macro-economic conditions compounded by rising input costs, and growing concern about plastic products’ impact on the environment continue to have a significant effect on the performance of the local plastics and plastic products industry. Recent figures show the volume of plastic products manufactured increased by 3.3% between May 2018 and May 2019, while the sales value of these products rose by 5.3%. According to the industry association, 60,000 people are employed in the plastics and plastic products industry, while an estimated 1,800 companies operate as converters.
Plastics’ environmental footprint has been the focus of much negative attention. Analysts estimate that as much as 80% of marine debris is made of plastic and that the material accounts for approximately 10% of landfill waste. Plastics SA is encouraging the local plastics and plastic products industry to adopt the circular economy model to ensure the industry experiences sustainable growth. The minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries announced in July 2019 that government was considering the introduction of a new policy to address the use of single-use plastics and their disposal management. As part of this process, which is expected to be concluded by March 2020, discussions will be held with the retail, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and packaging sectors.
This report on the manufacture of plastics and plastic products describes the state of the industry and the factors that influence it, including latest available statistics and information on environmental concerns and continental and international information. There are comprehensive profiles of 55 companies. These include Sasol and KAP Industrial Holdings, that dominate the production of primary plastics through Sasol Polymers and Safripol respectively, and major producers RPC Astrapak, Nampak, Alpla, Mpact and Transpaco, whose subsidiary East Rand Plastics is Africa’s largest manufacturer of refuse bags.