Packaging application has been a major factor in influencing the demand for plastic raw materials in the UK. Packaging application finds its extensive use in several end-use industries ranging from building & construction to food & beverage and e-commerce. A wide variety of Plastic Raw Materials such as polypropylene, poly vinyl chloride, and high-density polyethylene are used in the manufacturing of several packaging mediums such as plastic bottles, containers, bags, pouches, plastic films, trays, and wraps. The food & beverage sector is one of the biggest markets that has been driving the demand for high-quality packaging applications and this, in turn, is bolstering the demand for plastic raw materials in the market. For instance, as per the December 2020 report by the Food & Drink Federation of the UK, manufacturing of food and drink increased, contributing USD 37.83 billion to the UK economy and growing by 2.3% compared to the previous year.

The UK is home to almost every high-quality plastic raw material that is available in the world. Plastic raw materials are such as high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbonate, poly vinyl chloride, and polystyrene are found in a massive amount in the country. Among these, high-density polyethylene is the raw material that has the highest demand in the market. This plastic raw material possesses excellent properties such as abrasion and chemical resistance, high durability, and low cost. High-density polyethylene is broadly used in the food & beverage sector for the manufacturing of several packaging mediums such as plastic bottles, containers, and bags which are later utilized for packing several food items. Other plastic raw materials like polypropylene also witness high demand in the packaging of the food & beverage sector where it is utilized in flat bags, strapping tape, boxes, and gusseted bags.

University level Data by Segment in the UK 2016-2020


The UK is one of the largest food and beverage sectors globally which requires packaging application which, in turn, influences the demand for multiple plastic raw materials. Food and beverage packaging involves numerous packaging mediums such as plastic containers, bottles, pouches, wraps, trays, and several other plastic components. The food & beverage sector in the UK influenced the demand for packaging application during the 2016-2020 period with increased production and sales of food products, thereby stimulating the demand for several plastic raw materials in the market. As per the November 2020 report by, the gross value added in the UK food sector surged by 4.4% in 2018. The food and beverage sector is displaying exceptional growth in the UK in the current times as well which in turn is influencing the demand for packaging application and this is projected to further stimulate the demand for plastic raw material. As per the November 2020 stats by, the volume of food purchased by the UK consumers peaked at 1.07 billion kilograms/litres/packs. Such massive growth in the country’s food and beverage sector is expected to augment the higher demand for packaging applications which in turn will drive the demand for plastic raw materials in the forthcoming years.

The COVID-19 pandemic influenced the growth of the market as demand for essential services increased during the pandemic. The demand for numerous necessary items such as hand sanitizers, household detergent & cleaning items, bottled water surged during the pandemic due to increased awareness regarding safety and hygiene among the consumers. As per the data by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the UK, the demand for hand sanitizers and surface disinfectant products increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, the demand for pharmaceutical and cosmetic products also witnessed growth in the market, amplifying the demand for plastic raw materials. Going forward, the market is expected to witness exceptional demand for plastic raw materials due to the expansion of several end-use industries such as packaging and construction.

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Plastic Raw Material Market in UK Drivers:

Increasing plastic recycling is driving the plastic raw materials demand

The use of recycled plastic has been on the rise in the country in the last few years and this has been influencing the higher demand for plastic raw materials in the country. The increasing environmental concern and rising awareness among consumers regarding sustainable solutions are resulting in the implementation of new regulations about proper plastic uses and higher recycling of plastics, in turn driving the demand for plastic raw materials in the market. According to the December 2020 data by the Waste & Resources Action Programme, the recycling of plastic packaging displayed positive growth, accounting for 50% in 2019 compared to 44% in 2018. Furthermore, according to the UK Plastics Pact report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme, 100% of plastics in the UK packaging solutions will be recyclable by 2025. Such growth regarding recycled plastic in the packaging sector is influencing the demand for plastic raw materials in the UK.

R&D Investment:

Product development and acquisitions help in bolstering the growth of the market. The market players in the UK gave been continuously augmenting their efforts towards higher product development and company acquisitions in the market.  In September 2019, Benvic Europe SAS acquired Dugdale Compounds Limited Inc. This was the sixth add-on investment by Benvic in just over 18 months following the acquisition of Vinyloop (Italy), Alfa PVC (Poland), Plantura (Italy).  

The Major Players in this Market Include

The major companies in the plastic raw material market in UK include Exxon Mobil Corporation, BASF Corporation, Braskem America, Inc., SABIC Americans, Inc., LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V, LG Chemical America, Inc, INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA, LLC., Indorama Ventures Public Company, Westlake Chemical Corporation, Others.

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