Canadian Plastics

Plastics posts most employees, highest growth in Canadian manufacturing sector

Canadian Plastics   

Plastics is the largest employer in the manufacturing sector, according to Industry Canada....

Plastics is the largest employer in the manufacturing sector, according to Industry Canada.

Over a 100,000 people were employed by the Canadian plastics industry in 2005 in 2,405 plants across the country, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) revealed at its executive briefing and annual general meeting on May 4, 2006.

The report was presented by Atul Sharma, CPIA’s Ontario director.

Additionally, the Canadian plastics industry is growing twice as fast as all other manufacturing sectors. Canadian plastics processors shipped $38.9 billion worth of goods in 2005, the CPIA said, making up 8.10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) compared to 2004 when plastics accounted for 8.03 per cent of the GDP.


In 2005, the plastics industry in Canada was valued at $51.5 billion, with the remaining $12.6 billion attributed to resin suppliers at 8.7 per cent, while mold-, tool- and die-makers made up 2.5 per cent. Machinery vendors comprised 1.3 per cent, according to the CPIA.

In terms of the its value of shipments, the plastics industry ranks fifth in the manufacturing sector after motor vehicles, petroleum refineries, motor vehicle parts and pulp, paper and paperboard mills.

Shipments of plastics products were valued at $21.8 billion dollars with resin and synthetic rubber accounting for $8.7 billion; auto parts for $4.3 billion; plastic bags for $1.83 billion; plastic pipes and fittings for $1.45 billion; plastic bottles for about $1 billion; polystyrene foam for $780 million; laminated plastic plates, sheets and shapes for $570 million; and plumbing fixtures for $480 million.

Packaging was still the primary end-use for plastics in the country, with 34 per cent of plastic materials going towards packaging applications. Construction followed with 26 per cent, while transportation accounted for 18 per cent. Both the furniture, and electrical and electronic markets took five per cent, while the remaining 12 per cent was attributed to other applications, the CPIA said.

Regionally speaking, Ontario had the largest share of plastics firms.

Fifty-seven per cent of facilities were headquartered in Ontario, followed by 26 per cent in Quebec, six per cent in British Columbia, five per cent in Alberta, three per cent in the Atlantic provinces, two per cent in Manitoba and one per cent in Saskatchewan.


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