DUBAI (ICIS)--China’s booming urban clusters are driving wealth growth and demand, but this might lead to lower-than-expected per capita polymer consumption because of growing environmental concerns, an industry consultant said on Monday.
“The rich in China, apart from sustainability concerns, don’t want to waste time in traffic jams,” John Richardson, senior consultant for Asia at ICIS told delegates at the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association’s (GPCA) annual forum.
The Chinese government's efforts to improve air quality and funding for autonomous driving and ride-hailing could also weigh on consumption in the future, Richardson said.
Polymer per capita consumption growth could also be weighed by the “less is more” focus on plastic packaging, as more recycling material replaces virgin materials, he said.
“Residents in poorer inland cities in China lack access to sufficient health care and education. Unless China escapes its middle-income trap of major pension and healthcare shortfalls [the country’s polyethylene (PE) consumption growth could be much lower than expected]," Richardson added.
The 13th Annual GPCA forum runs on 26-28 November in Dubai.
Read John Richardson’s views on the Asian Chemical Connections Blog.