Plastics Ranks Sixth Largest Manufacturing Industry in America

The 2022 Size and Impact report from the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) has been released, it’s the association’s flagship annual analysis of the plastics industry’s contribution to the US economy.

Highlights shared during an online executive briefing include:

  • The US plastics industry accounts for nearly a million jobs (999,100); when suppliers to the plastics industry are included, that number rises to 1.5 million.
  • Plastics manufacturing employment grew 3.2% from 2020-2021, more than twice the growth of manufacturing as a whole (1.5%).
  • US plastics shipments totaled $468.0 billion for 2021; when suppliers to the plastics industry are included, shipments totaled $600.4 billion.

“The report shows that the plastics industry, while previously eighth is now the sixth largest manufacturing industry in the US,” said Matt Seaholm, president and CEO of PLASTICS. “Plain and simple, these numbers show that the plastics industry is growing and will continue to do so as part of a circular economy.”

“Plastic is remarkable – It saves energy by being lightweight. It saves resources by being efficient to manufacture and transport, and it saves lives through protective gear, medical devices and so much more.”

“The plastics industry continues to develop new technologies that improve the manufacturing process to include more recycled content, less material, design for recyclability and improved performance to better protect things like food and beverages, greatly reducing waste,” concluded Seaholm.

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