Anipac head urges Mexico to help plastics sector

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MEXICO CITY (Feb. 7, 1:35 p.m. ET) — The leader of Mexico’s plastics industry has urged the government to make development of the sector a priority and criticized successive governments for failing to do so.

“It’s truly difficult to understand how a petroleum-producing nation (such as Mexico) can have a deficit in the production of a petrochemical product that gives so much added value to society,” Eduardo Martínez Hernández, president of industry association Anipac (Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico AC), said in a news release Jan. 6.

Mexico’s petrochemicals industry has the capacity to supply only 3.2 million metric tons (67 percent) of the 4.8 million metric tons of resin used in the production of plastic goods in the country every year, he added.

“A lack of government vision at all levels in Mexico has ignored the potential added value generated by the production of a plastic article,” Martínez said.

He pointed out that a barrel of crude oil sold for $100 can become $1,000 by transforming it into a plastic resin and $3,000 when the resin is used to make a finished product.

He called on the state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the ministries of energy and economy to make “the development of the plastics sector, which potentially is so relevant to the country’s economy, a priority.”

Other countries have realized the potential of plastics and developed their plastics industries accordingly, he said.

Mexico’s plastics industry comprises between 4,200 and 4,500 companies that employ 160,000 directly and another 800,000, according to Martínez.