Plastic Products Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 7,550 plastic product manufacturers in the US process plastic materials and produce parts and finished goods for a variety of end uses. Product categories include packaging material; fabricated shapes and plates; polystyrene foam products; urethane and other foam products; bottles; plumbing fixtures; and resilient floor coverings.

Volatile Raw Materials Costs

Conventional plastic is a petroleum and natural gas byproduct and cost of plastic or resin is influenced by variability in the price of oil.

Industry size & Structure

A typical plastic products manufacturer employs about 85 workers and generates about $30 million annually.

    • The plastic products manufacturing industry consists of 7,550 companies that employ 618,800 workers, and generates over $228 billion annually. Most companies are small to medium sized businesses.
    • Primary end-use markets include packaging, consumer and institutional, and building and construction. Other markets include transportation, electrical and electronics, furniture and furnishings, and industrial machinery.
    • Individual companies may specialize according to end-use, process, or material. Many companies may act as suppliers to OEMs, such as auto or aircraft manufacturers.
    • Large companies include Berry Plastics, Pactiv Corporation, and Graham Packaging.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Plastic Products Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Apr 27, 2023 - Pros and Cons of Reusable Packaging
                                • Under pressure to reduce plastic waste at its restaurants in Europe and the US, McDonald’s said it will release a report in 2024 examining the pros and cons of using reusable packaging in its restaurants worldwide, The Wall Street Journal reports. Governments, investors and consumers are pressing restaurants to cut plastic use, which has led fast food chains to consider reusing, and eventually recycling, plastic utensils, cups and other tableware. These solutions aren’t always effective at curbing environmental waste, however, because they rely on consumer participation or the recycling infrastructure is limited, according to WSJ. Moreover, durable plastic costs more and requires energy and water to wash. For example, a reusable cup made of bulkier plastic than a disposable one, needs to be used 50-100 times to make it preferable to a single-use cup from a plastic-waste standpoint.
                                • Some New York City restaurants would be required to offer reusable, returnable food packaging and utensils under legislation introduced in the City Council in April, The Wall Street Journal reports. The “Choose to Reuse” bill aims to improve sustainability in the restaurant industry by offering customers the option of reusable, returnable containers for dine-in, takeout and delivery, rather than relying on single-use packaging, according to WSJ. Under the bill, which excludes beverage containers, consumers would be asked to return the reusable items themselves at drop off sites or through delivery or logistics partners. While proponents of the bill say many customers would be willing to sacrifice convenience to reduce use of throw-away plastics, others say it would be challenging to implement and stress an industry still struggling to recover from the pandemic. The proposed legislation would apply only to fast-casual restaurants that meet certain criteria, according to WSJ.
                                • The Biden administration in March announced a goal to replace 90% of plastics with biomaterials within the next 20 years, Plastics News (PN) reports. The administration’s ambitious goal to convert bio-based feedstock into recyclable by-design polymers that can displace at least 90% of today's plastics and other commercial polymers at scale was one of several goals for biotechnology and biomanufacturing announced by the administration. Specifically, the US Department of Energy is addressing the transition to bioplastics with its Strategy for Plastics Innovation, a department-wide approach focused on greenhouse gas emission reduction, new recycling technologies, sustainable manufacturing, and polymers redesign for improved end-of-life product properties. The president’s announcement cited the problem of waste plastics accumulating in landfills and the broader environment as a well recognized planetary-scale pollution crisis.
                                • Rising interest rates and the strong US dollar are putting the US manufacturing sector at risk, The Wall Street Journal reported in March. New orders for manufactured goods shrank for the sixth consecutive month in February, according to surveys by the Institute for Supply Management. Also, manufacturing output is down 1.7% from its post-pandemic peak in May 2022, according to a three-month moving average of Federal Reserve data, WSJ reports. The Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes are raising the cost of borrowing – making machinery purchases more expensive – while the strong dollar is depressing US exports. “As the Fed continues to hike, manufacturing is going to be in the crosshairs,” Jonathan Millar, senior US economist at Barclays PLC told WSJ. “It’s hard to see this sector not suffer some sort of a downturn that is more significant than what we’ve seen already.”
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