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Socio-economic contribution of polycarbonate in Belgium

Polycarbonate is a lightweight, highly versatile, durable, heat and shatter resistant, formable and
transparent thermoplastic. It is the material of choice for a wide range of end-user applications
as diverse as DVDs, spectacles and optical lenses, car headlamps and parts, transparent roofs in
construction, or medical devices.

Belgium is a major producer of polycarbonate: about 20% of
total European production is produced here, generating about
450 mio Euro of value added. A trade surplus of about 390
mio Euro is generated by net exports of polycarbonate. Due
to its function as an enabling technology, over 15,300 jobs in
Belgium are related to the production and consumption of
Belgian national consumption of polycarbonate grew
continuously by about 6% p.a. during the past years and
reached about 3% of total EU consumption in 2010. Nearly
85% of the Belgian consumption of polycarbonate is
concentrated in three key economic sectors: in Building &
Construction, in the Electrical & Electronics industries and
the Automotive sector. It is estimated that about 1.1 billion
Euro of value added depend upon polycarbonate technology
in Belgium. In many of these applications polycarbonate is critical to
transforming the functional characteristics of components
or end uses. This means: Polycarbonate cannot be replaced
by any other material if the same material performance
characteristics are required. More than half of the Belgian
consumption of polycarbonate is used in these unique
In unique applications situations, outputs are dependent upon
polycarbonate, and so are the working places of the people
producing or processing them: 3,800 jobs in the production
industry, about 1,000 jobs in the processing, and 10,500 jobs
related to the manufacturing and sale of end products are
related directly and indirectly to polycarbonate in unique
applications in Belgium.

Polycarbonate is a dynamic enabling platform technology for
innovation, thus helping to sustain Belgium´s manufacturing
base. The competitive position of a significant number of
leading Belgian companies depends upon the continued
exploitation of the many and unique properties of
polycarbonate. It offers solutions to modern societies to
meet the emerging needs for lower weight, greater safety
and security, lower risks and improved well-being, while at
the same time reducing costs and improving the product

Jasmin Bird
Manager Communications
PC/BPA-Group PlasticsEurope
Tel: +32 2 676 1738