In most parts of the world, we tend to have the top-level of the plastics industry being dominated by just a few players. When we make reference to the ‘top level’ of the plastics industry in this context, we are actually referring to the level where the manufacture of plastic products is undertaken. We are also making reference to the level where the sourcing is done, for the raw materials from which plastics are made. By the way, plastics come from petrochemicals.
So, why is the top level of the plastics industry dominated by just a few players?
Well, the answer to that question is simple: the top level of the plastics industry is dominated by just a few players because there are many (and huge) barriers to entry, at that top level of the plastics industry. Only the few well-heeled players who are able to overcome those barriers to entry are able to play at that top level of the plastics industry. The barriers to entry we are making reference to here are mostly of a financial and a logistical nature, though there are technical barriers as well.
Still, it is encouraging to note that there is a greater diversity of players at the lower levels of the plastics industry. Thus, for instance, if you are looking to buy the best headphones made out of plastic, or to buy plastic-based earbuds for ladies, you are likely to be spoilt for choice. But if you want to buy the petrochemicals out of which the plastic products are fashioned, then you will find that there are only a few companies from which you can buy such petrochemicals or raw plastics.