Hot on the heels of trends to watch at CES 2017, the report highlights the powerful role plastics have played in making interconnectivity possible in emerging consumer electronic categories such as wearables.

A theme of CES 2017 has been the emergence of smart and connected devices. Plastics is a key contributor to the consumer electronics sector because of its protective, lightweight properties. The flexible, safe design properties are increasingly being used in products that consumers use for their health.

The kinds of plastics and polymers being used with consumer technology devices continues to diversify as the plastics industry responds to manufacturer needs.

“People don’t see plastics in consumer electronics initially, but once they recognise that there are items in their life that would be impossible without plastics, their opinions change and they realize how critical plastics are to their everyday items,” said Terry Peters, PLASTICS’ vice president of technical and industry affairs.

The new Plastics Market Watch report explores the growing market for plastics and forecasts opportunities and new areas where plastics and polymers will be called on to be partners in innovation for new products and technologies. Additionally, it addresses the proper recycling and waste management at the end of life for consumer electronic products.

“Plastics have been integral to the success of many consumer tech manufacturers,” said Shawn DuBravac, chief economist, CTA TM. “Many of our favourite technologies, such as wearables are made possible in large part due to the dynamic nature of plastic material. The benefits that plastics provide to the industry are essential to product development.”

“No other sector relies so much on innovation as consumer electronics, and plastics play an important role in game-changing technology. Innovation is the life blood of this industry as innovation cycles get shorter and shorter to avoid the setting in of buyer fatigue,” said Kendra Martin, PLASTICS’ senior director of industry affairs.