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How Covid-19 has Affected Demand for Plastic Goods

02/03/2021

The plastic industry has been one of steady growth and reliable demand for a number of decades now.

While it has faced its challenges, namely the need to adapt to more environmentally friendly practices and an increased focus on recyclability, there has always been a demand for plastic goods on a global scale.

So how has the pandemic affected the demand for plastic goods and what does this mean for the industry?

Plastic Goods Demand The emergence of COVID-19 hasn’t just affected people’s health, it has had a massive impact on how we live our lives. From lockdowns and social distancing to hospitality closures and online deliveries, people are spending more time at home, are not entertaining guests and some have also suffered from lost income.

All these factors have meant that the demand normally seen for certain plastic goods has significantly decreased.

People are not spending anywhere near the pre-pandemic level on items such as household appliances, causing a drop in the market of these plastic goods, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 2008.

Global demand for polyethylene and polypropylene, which has been steady for the last 25 years, has decreased in 2020.

The automobile industry is also feeling the lack of demand for plastic, with sales considerably lower than the level before restrictions were introduced.

There are areas within the industry, however, that has seen a massive upturn due to their role within the pandemic.

Most notably, food packaging has seen a huge rise in demand as a result of panic buying, contamination fears, and longer transport times.

Single-use plastics have also seen a rise, again due to their reduced risk of cross-contamination. Items such as disposable cups, straws, and stirrers (which were all set to start being phased out) have come back into popularity over the last year.

Of course, single-use plastic for PPE has also been in high demand.

So, what does this mean? While the industry is not one that will see demand be erased, the effects on the sale of plastic goods due to COVID-19 will be felt for a few years at least.

The phasing out of single-use plastics will likely be a much longer process now and more will need to be done to combat the effect of this.

And the demand for the larger goods will most likely increase over time, rather than return to pre-COVID levels straight away.

Manufacturers will need to manage their supply more carefully while these changes level themselves out, but there is hope for the industry and the reduced demand is not likely to have a lasting effect.

If you’re looking to find out more about our plastic products and the services we offer, contact the Rayda team here.

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