An Overview Of British Plastics Manufacturing

April 16, 2017

blue plastic box with wheels

At Excelsior, we’re constantly proud to be part of the British plastics industry. As well as our own rich company heritage and success with our rotational moulding process, the plastics industry is something of a point of national pride for the UK. We produce staggering amounts of processed products for our own internal use, and we’re a major player on the world stage, too.

Quick Facts On British Plastics Manufacturing

The UK as a nation produces around 1.7 million tonnes of plastic raw materials every year, while its plastic processors (that includes us!) consume 3.3 million tons of material. You may notice a bit of a gap there – Britain does indeed partially rely on outside exports, but then again, plastic products are one of our own top ten exports too. It goes both ways!

In fact, the UK is one of the top five plastic processors in the EU, currently competing with Spain, France, Germany and Italy. There are around 6200 companies in the industry, and together we make over £13 billion of turnover annually – some pretty respectable numbers, if we do say so ourselves. The plastics industry as a whole employs about 170,000 people, making it the second largest sector employer in UK manufacturing – beating car manufacturing, defence, chemical manufacturing and furniture and homeware. At the moment, only the food and drink industry can claim to have a bigger slice of the British workforce, giving you some idea of just how crucial the plastics industry is to our national economy.

Spearheading Europe’s Plastics Manufacturing

With plastics making up such a large chunk of our economy, as you’d expect we’ve developed a reputation as being something of an innovator. The UK plastics machinery sector is known for its knack for serving niche markets, delivering consistent quality with bespoke orders and small-scale product runs. The British plastics machinery sector is also renowned for its efficiency and technological advancement; we’ve got a particular strength in specialist materials manufacture, giving us an edge on competing nations. We’ve got form for this, too: polythene, a widely-used plastic compound today, was originally a British invention.

British plastics companies are also envied the world over for their ability to flexibly move with market trends, reactively responding to customer demand. This gives us a big advantage on the global stage, allowing us to remain constantly competitive.

It’s this flexibility, as well as our careful attention to the quality of our machinery, that has led to the development of a cutting-edge range of reprocessing equipment, and we’re now an undisputed world leader in this field. Almost the full range of plastics additives is produced right here in Britain, so as long as we have the materials we can make almost anything when it comes to plastics.

We hope this blog goes a little way to explaining why we take such pride in our business – just take a look at our case studies to find out how we translate this pride into quality manufacturing for you, our customers. If you want to make an idea for your plastic product a reality with our rotomoulding process, just give us a call on 0161 765 2010. We’re here to help!

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