Dubai: The UAE plastic industry is witnessing a growth in the manufacturing of plastic food packages, pipes, cables and wires, according to experts in a panel for Arabplast 2013 on Sunday. 
The speakers highlighted the opportunities in the GCC and the UAE for the production of plastics. By 2020, plastics consumption in the GCC will grow by 8 per cent, according to organizers of Arabplast 2013.

The GCC is the world’s largest source of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) — chemicals that are used in the manufacturing of plastics, according to statistics provided by GPCA, which reports that the combined production of PE and PP in the GCC is set to reach 31 million tonnes by 2015.

The UAE’s massive drive to build one of the world’s most advanced infrastrucutres has fuelled demand for plastics products, from tubes to cables and wires, according to Craig Halgreen, Vice President Global Communications of Borouge told Gulf News. He explained that the use of plastics has benefits across many industries. The automotive industry benefits from the use of plastic tubes because the material makes cars lighter; so do hospitals are shifting from breakable glass syringes to plastic ones.

Commenting on the growth of plastic packaging in the UAE, Rahim K. Jamal, general manager of Sharjah-based Al Shihab Al Thahabi Technical Trading Co. said: “More than 50 per cent of our projects are related to plastic packaging.” Jamal added that his company has seen a growth between 15 and 20 per cent in plastic food packaging from 2011 to 2012.

Arabplast, which is in its 11th year, starts on Monday and runs until Thursday. It will showcase machinery for plastic production and packaging, among others.

— Sarah Algethami is a trainee at Gulf News.