INTRODUCTION In the period from the 1960s plastic use on vehicles has grown considerably, both as a proportion of the total vehicle weight and in absolute terms. Plastics of various types have become the material choice for vehicle interiors and bumper fascias, and are increasingly used in other applications such as fuel tanks and inlet manifolds. However, it is still the case that plastics consumption by the automotive industry world-wide is an order of magnitude less than steel on a weight basis.