More than $1 billion of plastics products were exported from West Virginia businesses last year, and plastics industry officials say that is evidence of the industry will be key to the state's future economic growth.
According to the state Department of Commerce, West Virginia's plastics sector accounted for $1,016,254,584 in total goods exported from the state last year.
It was the second year in a row the industry topped $1 billion in exports, and the sector accounted for more than 10 percent of $7.4 billion in West Virginia products exported last year. That makes plastics second only to coal for most exported product from the state.
The top 10 markets for the state's plastics products are China, Canada, Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Korean Republic, Hong Kong, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands.
"This is proof-positive that the plastics industry helps drive West Virginia's economy," Polymer Alliance Zone president Karen Facemyer said.
"While this is great news for plastics industry, it's even better news for our state's economy," Facemyer said. "And, with the development of our shale fields, and the low cost of natural gas, West Virginia is becoming an even more attractive location for the plastics and chemical industries."The Polymer Alliance Zone is an economic development organization that promotes the plastics industry in Wood, Mason and Jackson counties and works to recruit plastic-related companies to locate in the state.