Chemicals & Plastics

Chemicals, Plastics and Rubber in Illinois

Illinois Plastics Industry

Illinois is an ideal location for plastic products because of its highly developed chemical industry and its ready supply of natural gas. Since plastics can be bulky and expensive to ship, plastics processing tends to be located near manufacturing operations such as automobile and appliance assembly plants, making an industrial state like Illinois an ideal location. Illinois accounts for 8% of the US's plastics and rubber manufacturing.

Illinois Chemical Industry

Illinois is the fourth largest chemical manufacturing state in the US, and more than 1.8 million Illinois jobs are dependent on chemical products. Nearly 900 establishments distribute the chemical products that are created in more than 700 chemical manufacturing facilities in Illinois. Large companies in the chemical manufacturing industry with a presence in Illinois include Air Liquide, Akzo Nobel, Exxon Mobile, and Monsanto. Companies headquartered in Illinois include Carus Corporation, Nalco Company, and Sun Chemical.

Illinois has the fifth largest plastics industry in the USA and some of its largest plastics companies.

  • $18.5 billion worth of plastic industry shipments in 2014
  • 50,600 employees
  • A highly developed chemical industry and ready supply of natural gas in-state

Many of the largest companies involved in plastics established their headquarters in Illinois to utilize the state's many advantages.

  • Illinois Tool Works: Listed 201st on the Fortune 500 with $1.9 billion in profits and a market value of $37.2 generated by its 16,000 active and pending patents in automotive components, industrial and commercial food equipment, and other products.
  • Solo Cup Company: The world's largest manufacturer and distributor of single-use foodservice products. Their main product, the red solo cup, remains an icon of American culture and an expected party standard.
  • Alcan Packaging: Provides packaging products for food and beverage, pharmaceutical and medical, beauty and personal care, and tobacco industries through its operations in China, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, and Eastern Europe.
  • Pactiv Corporation: Manufactures and distributes food packaging foodservice products. Since founded in 1959, Pactiv's distribution has spread across North America, Europe, and Asia.


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