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Publication:

Plastics: A sustainable future

18 August 2020

Plastics - protector or polluter? Which narrative will survive the pandemic and what are the consequences for the future of the plastics industry?​

The impact of the pandemic on the plastics sector has been profound. A few months ago, plastics were increasingly rejected due to their long-lasting environmental footprint. More recently, plastics have become vital in the fight against the virus, and manufacturers have stepped up to meet incredible demand.

The current requirement for suitable medical equipment is highlighting just how important UK manufacture and engineering is to the economy. The plastics industry is working tirelessly to play its part during the pandemic and has become vital in the UK’s fight against the virus.

Elsewhere in the industry, which is dependent on demand from diverse end sectors, manufacturers have suffered enormous pain and incredible shifts in demand and fortunes. Those linked to the automotive, aerospace and certain consumer sectors for example have radically different expectations to a few months ago. Hard hit manufacturers have seen early supply-side restrictions, followed by demand-led declines.

In our report, we explore many of the key themes facing the industry as a whole, including the outlook for different end sectors, the shifting perceptions of the plastics industry and the underlying trends shaping the future of the sector and driving M&A.

While the market faces new and significant challenges, it is underpinned by strong, long-term consolidation drivers which should help to uphold an investment thesis and support valuations as M&A returns.

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