Global plastics production declined in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, only the third time since World War II that output has fallen, an industry body said yesterday. Output has fallen only twice previously, as a result of the oil crisis in 1973 and during the financial crisis in 2008. Worldwide output slipped to 367 million tonnes last year from 368 million in 2019, a 0.3 percent decline, according to the industry federation PlasticsEurope. But output in China -- which currently accounts for a third of global plastics production -- continued to grow by 1.0 percent. In Europe, production of new plastics was down 5.1 percent at 55 million tonnes last year. The 27-nation EU now accounts for just 15 percent of worldwide plastics production, down from 21 percent in 2010. The United States produces around 19 percent of the world's plastics, compared with 20 percent 10 years ago.