Plastics Industry

Fraunhofer-Pilotanlagenzentrum für Polymersynthese und -verarbeitung PAZ in Schkopau: Blick in das Polymersynthesetechnikum | © PAZ_Panorama Skopau - Til lBudde

Plastics Industry

Germany is Europe's No.1 Plastics Location

Germany is Europe's largest producer and manufacturer of plastics. The country’s plastics industry value chain includes plastics manufacturers and processors, machine manufacturers, the application industries and the plastics and rubber recycling industry. One of the most important industry sectors in Germany, the plastics industry generates annual turnover of over EUR 90 billion. The industry enjoys more than a six percent share of domestic industrial production and plays a major role in providing new and innovative products and solutions to a number of key industries including the automotive, mechanical engineering, packaging, electrical engineering, and construction industries. In addition, plastics are used in the medical, furniture and household goods industries as well as in agriculture - broad applications in a competitive European consumer market.

German plastics producers, processing industries and industry-related research institutions and centers of excellence are setting international standards with their excellent infrastructure, know-how and their results in research and development. Foreign companies located in Germany benefit from the advantages of the single European market and the existing structures along the entire value chain to access innovative clusters and high quality research.

Industry & Market Numbers*

  • No. 1 in Europe: Share of around 35 percent of the total European plastics production
  • Leadership in plastics production and consumption, export and import, and in investment in fixed assets and expenditure in R&D
  • Major FDI destination country in Europe
  • Sales more than EUR 91 billion, 3,300 companies, 393,000 employees
  • Plastics production: 19.8 million tons per year, sales EUR 24 billion, 200 companies, 49,000 employees
  • Plastics processing: sales EUR 60 billion, 2,850 companies, 316,000 employees
  • Plastics and rubber machinery builders: sales EUR 7 billion, more than 250 companies 28,000 employees
  • 76 application-oriented university and non-university research institutes and competence centers in the field of polymer and materials research in close collaboration with the plastics industry
  • Over 40 regional plastics networks and innovation cluster


Structures of the Plastics Industry in Germany 2016 | © PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V., 2017 + GTAI


Peggy Görlitz Peggy Görlitz | © GTAI

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Scientific apparatus and glassware on laboratory bench awaiting Experiment | © gettyImages / Andrew Brookes

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