Allison Gutiérrez Núñez
The plastics industry in Colombia and the world is today known for its innovation and technology. Also, because it has been demonstrating its ability to transform itself, which led it to grow 22.2% in the first two quarters of the year compared to 2020 and 8.6% compared to the same period in 2019.
And it is that when talking about the plastics industry, this not only includes the final products for use, but also an entire value chain that begins with the inputs. In 2020, the national processing of plastic resins registered a figure of 1.33 million in 2020. The most demanded materials in that year for the manufacture of different plastic products were polyethylene (39%), propylene polymers (19, 5%), polyvinyl chlorides (16%), poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET resins (12.5%) and polystyrenes (6%), and other polymers (8%).
Juan Camilo Velásquez director del Icipc
“Plastic products will hardly be replaced in the short and medium term. But, sustainability challenges are challenges and opportunities for reinvention and business” According to Acoplástico, of the local production of plastic materials, more than half has as destination foreign markets. In 2020, 56% of the total tonnage corresponds to the direct export of resins and the remaining percentage was transformed in the country, into semi-products and manufactures, intermediate and final consumption, which in turn, are they sell in the domestic market, and are also exported to other countries. Therefore, despite the economic effects of the pandemic and the environmental challenges that the plastic sector has been facing, supply and demand continue to remain on the right track. However, it is noteworthy that the GDP of the sector fell 6.7% in 2020. For Daniel Mitchell, executive president of Acoplástico, the behavior of the industry plastic in the country has been quite variable. For example, according to Mitchell, in the early months of the pandemic (April-June 2020), most segments fell, with the exception of of packaging and containers for food and cleaning, hygiene and cleaning products, as well as plastic fabrics for face masks and other protection elements. Despite this, since the second half of 2020 and so far this year, all segments have been growing, especially plastics for household appliances, packaging for beverages, auto parts and home line.
“In general terms, I think that the pandemic has made evident the usefulness and importance of plastic in modern life, because it is an innocuous, waterproof, versatile material and economic”, complemented the executive president of Acoplásticos. Therefore, if we talk about the future, the 2032 vision of the Business Plan for the Plastics sector will be to promote local but responsible consumption of plastic products.