The circular economy will be one of the leading issues at this year's K 2019 trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany. Visitors will be greeted by a variety of proposals and solutions relating to this “green” topic.
The demand for plastics continues to rise, despite their image problem. In its report “Plastics – The Facts”, Plastics Europe pointed out that the production of plastics worldwide was 348 million tonnes in 2017, around 4 percent higher than in 2016. In Europe, the output of the 28 EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland rose from 60 million to 64.4 million tonnes (up 7 percent).
Europe accounts for around 20 percent of global production, placing it second among producers, after China (29 percent) and just ahead of the NAFTA region (18 percent).
Although a degree of consolidation has led to a reduction in the number of companies in the European plastics industry since the last K fair, to around 60,000, figures for those employed in the sector have increased, with 1.5 million working in the plastics industry and generating sales of about 350 billion euros in 2017.
The packaging sector uses almost 40 percent of plastic resin. The second biggest end market, construction, accounts for 20 percent. Automotive applications use about 10 percent, and that market also achieved the highest growth.
Recycling and the circular economy will be topics at the "Plastics shape the Future" portion of K 2019, which will include politicians and socially relevant groups, and the "Science Campus," which aims to create a dialogue between science and business.
Information on K 2019 is available at www.k-online.com.