Swiss plastics processors saw a significant improvement in 2006, according to the latest figures released by the countrys processor association, KVS (Aarau). Turnover for the branch last year is reported to have risen 11% to 19.2 billion CHF (about €7.8 billion). KVS reports that 2006 was the best year for processors and beat the previous record result in 2002 by about 300 million CHF. The number of processing employees also rose last year by 1.2% to 33,600 and the number of processing operations increased by 20 to 870.
Yet the sector, as in most European countries, remains in the hands of small-to-medium-sized operators. More than 600 of the processing shops reported in these results have fewer than 50 employees. The sectors export numbers saw a jump of 11% last year. Swiss processors converted a total of 902,655 tonnes of polymer in 2006 of which 86.6% was virgin. One negative blip on the radar screen was a decrease of the number of apprenticeship positions offered in plastics technology to 62 from 78. Fewer women are also being attracted to the profession, the KVS reports.[email protected]