JEDDAH – The per capita consumption of plastics in the Gulf region has crossed 39 kg, which is 33 per cent higher than the world average, said Satish Khanna, General Manager of Al Fajer Information & Services, co-organizer of “Arabplast 2013” that ended in Dubai Sunday.
“Plastics consumption in the Middle East is rapidly increasing. Events like FIFA World Cup Doha 2022 are boosting this consumption,” he said.
“Plastics are also used heavily in infrastructure and this explains the rapidly increasing consumption amongst individuals and corporates alike.
“Plastics and petrochemical companies in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) are equipping their factories with the latest technologies and machineries to increase their production capacities. This is where these multi-billion deals at the show were generated,” Khanna said.
Plastics are being produced domestically due to high availability of petrochemical raw materials in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
In North America, per capita consumption of plastics is 90 kg, in West Europe it is 65 kg, 10 kg in Eastern Europe, 12 kg in China, 5 kg in India, 10 kg in South-East Asia and 18 kg in Latin America, he said.
“The Gulf states command an 11 percent share of the $600-billion global petrochemical industry. The Gulf states could develop a domestic market for consuming their petrochemicals instead of exporting it to almost all other countries in the world,” Khanna said.
The world will consume 540 million tons of plastic in 2020, according to the organizer of the event. The figure was only 7 million tons in 1960, 196 million tons in 2005 and 260 million tons in 2007 and is expected to cross 365 million tons in 2015.
Organizers emphasized that with the rapidly increasing per capita consumption of plastics in the Gulf, the GCC states should plan for higher production domestically, taking advantage of abundance of petrochemicals materials, the primary raw material for plastics. – SG