The plastics industry in NRW
  2. Industries in NRW
  3. Plastics

The plastics industry in NRW

Advances in plastics technology exert an influence on all sectors of industry, frequently setting chains of innovation in motion and initiating significant optimization processes. The plastics industry in North Rhine Westphalia is unique within Europe to the extent that it encompasses the entire value chain. The spectrum includes small and medium-sized plastics processors, plastics machinery manufacturers, service providers, as well as major international plastics producers. The plastics industry depends heavily on scientific research and hence reaps outstanding benefits in NRW – as evidenced in the presence of 70 universities and colleges, renowned research institutes and in-company research departments.


NRW's plastics industry comprises around 1,100 enterprises with around 144,000 employees, plus relevant associations and scientific/educational institutions.

34.0 bn €

With sales of around €34.0 billion, NRW accounts for nearly one fifth of the total revenues of the German plastics industry.

High-performance plastics made in NRW

At the RWTH Aachen University in NRW

In North Rhine-Westphalia science and industry have developed ground-breaking technologies in the area of energy efficiency and the conservation of natural resources. For example, Covestro Deutschland and its partners are investigating ways of converting waste carbon dioxide into high-quality plastics. In so doing, this harmful greenhouse gas can replace petroleum and provide a valuable resource for sustainable growth. Other projects center on the optimization of plastic materials. The DWI Institute for Interactive Materials Research at RWTH Aachen University has transferred the special frictional properties of lizard skin to plastic surfaces. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT) have likewise taken nature as their model and developed self-repairing polymers based on rubber trees.


Plastic-manufacturing/processing companies in NRW

The major plastics manufacturing/processing companies, recycler and mechanical engineering enterprises in NRW include the following:

Der Grüne Punkt, ENGEL, Gerhardi Kunststofftechnik, Hoffmann + Voss, Josef Marwik, LANXESS, Josef Mawick, Kautex, Murtfeldt, Reifenhäuser.

Kunststoffland NRW

The goal of this cluster is to enhance the competitiveness of the plastics sector by connecting all the relevant stakeholders, intensifying international cooperation and communicating North Rhine-Westphalia's benefits as a business location.

How to do business in NRW

Do you have questions about entry regulations, tax issues and relevant laws for your investment project? You can find all the important information on setting up a company and other practical answers in our Business Guide.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions

NRW.Global Business GmbH
Trade & Investment Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
Völklinger Str. 4
40219 Düsseldorf


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Chemical Industry

NRW is the most important chemical location in Germany. The industry location is characterized by first-class research as well as a special mix of a broad range of medium-sized companies and numerous internationally successful large corporations.

Nanotechnology & Microsystems Technology

A strong research landscape and the close connectivity of industry and science in NRW contribute to high innovation speed. Companies from Germany and abroad benefit from the market dynamics of these key technologies.