Which country is the largest producer of plastics?

9 months ago

In 2019, global plastics production almost reached 370 million tons.

Which country is the largest producer of plastics?

In Europe, in the same year, it almost reached 58 million tons. China is currently the world's largest producer of plastics, with around 31% of the overall production of plastics worldwide (Figure 1). China is also the biggest exporter of plastics. NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement), a free trade zone including USA, Canada and Mexico, is the second largest plastic producing region in the world after China, and accounts for 19% of the global production. Overall, Asia produces half the amount of plastics in the world.

Distribution of plastic production worldwide.png

Figure 1. Distribution of plastic production worldwide [1].

Which country is the largest consumer of plastics?

The largest producers do not correspond to the largest consumers, as it can be understood from the data shown Figure 2.

 Major plastic consumers worldwide .png

Figure 2. Major plastic consumers worldwide [2]. Data expressed in Kg/person.


  1. Plastic Europe. Plastics - the Facts 2020. https://www.plasticseurope.org/ 
  2. W. Wang, N.J. Themelis, K. Sun, A.C. Bourtsalas, Q. Huang, Y. Zhang, Z. Wu. Current influence of China’s ban on plastic waste imports. Waste Disposal & Sustainable Energy 2019, 1, 67–78: doi: 10.1007/s42768-019-00005-z.
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