Report: Plastics rises to No. 6 industry in U.S.

Sept. 16, 2022
PLASTICS' annual Size and Impact report highlights growth in the industry.
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The "2022 Size and Impactreport from the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) showed, among other positive signs, that the plastics industry grew from the eighth-largest to the sixth-largest manufacturing industry in the U.S.

Perc Pineda, chief economist at PLASTICS, presented an overview of the findings of the annual report, which analyzes the plastics industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy. Highlights include:

  • The U.S. 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 percent from 2020 to 2021, more than twice the growth of manufacturing as a whole (1.5 percent).
  • U.S. plastics shipments totaled $468 billion in 2021; when suppliers to the plastics industry are included, shipments totaled $600.4 billion.

“Plain and simple, these numbers show that the PLASTICS industry is growing and will continue to do so as part of a circular economy,” PLASTICS President and CEO Matt Seaholm said.

“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,” he added.