The automotive sector utilizes high volume of injection molded plastics for manufacturing automobile parts to reduce the overall vehicle weight. Automakers are focusing on producing lightweight vehicles to enhance fuel efficiency. Plastics are an imperative component of any vehicle and the incorporation of these plastics provides a substantial weight reduction.
Moreover, the rising preference for biodegradable polymers among producers of medical devices has led to the widescale consumption of injection molded plastics, globally. Besides, the implementation of stringent regulations about the use of medical-grade polymers in the healthcare industry will propel the demand for these plastics in the coming years. The medical device manufacturers use injection plastics in the production of test tubes, beakers, implantable components, surgical equipment, drug delivery equipment, and casings and housings for laboratory and medical equipment.
According to P&S Intelligence, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region dominated the injection molded plastics market
in 2016 and it will retain its dominance in the foreseeable future. This is due to the increasing application of injection molded plastics in the cosmetics and toiletries, pharmaceutical, and food and beverages industries of the region. Moreover, the escalating consumption of soft drink consumption, on account of the rising temperature and booming population, is boosting the usage of these plastics. Besides, the presence of established players also fuels the consumption of injection molded plastics in APAC.
Furthermore, Europe also uses a considerable quantity of injection molded plastics, due to the surging ingestion of packaged foods and the strong presence of established players. Other regions, such as North America, Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Central South America (CSA), also consume a notable volume of such plastics, due to their rising applications in the construction, automotive, and medical sectors. In North America, the U.S. is expected to be the larger consumer of these plastics, owing to their widescale usage in the production of household and medical items in the country.
In recent years, key market players have increased their focus on product launches and geographical expansion to consolidate the competition. For example, DowDuPont Inc. established its new ethylene and plastics plant in Freeport, in September 2017, to produce 1.5 million metric tons of ethylene every year. This plant has a massive cracker that separates a component of natural ethane to provide the feedstock for ethylene, which is a vital ingredient for most plastics. Similarly, in October 2017, ExxonMobil started production at its new petrochemical facility in Texas, the U.S.
Similarly, in June 2017, Eastman introduced Treva, a new bioplastic material in China, as the country is increasingly using these products in their packaging and food and beverages industries. Treva is offered in multiple grades for injection molding and extrusion for electronics, eyeglasses, cosmetic cases, and electronic displays. Other companies that focus on similar strategies include Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, INEOS Group Holding S.A, and LyondellBasell Industries N.V.
Thus, the widening application of injection molded plastics in the medical, packaging, and automotive sectors will fuel the production and consumption of these plastics in the coming years.