The Plastic Recycling Market size is forecast to reach US$65.3 billion by 2027 after growing at a CAGR of 7.1% during 2022-2027. Plastic recycling refers to the process of collecting waste plastics and recycling them to produce new and useful plastic products. Recycling plastics has been a matter of serious concern globally due to the adverse impact of virgin plastics on the environment. Accordingly, governments are implementing regulations and initiatives regarding the efficient recycling of plastics to reduce the increasing pollution and this, in turn, is expected to contribute to the market’s growth during the forecast period. For instance, in November 2021, the US adopted the National Recycling Strategy that will focus on the proper collection and recycling of plastic materials. Furthermore, the demand for recycled plastic is growing in the packaging application of a wide variety of products owing to the high demand for safe and durable packaging materials, and this is projected to drive the market’s growth during the forecast period. For instance, as per the UK Plastics Pact report by Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), 100% of plastics in packaging will be recyclable by 2025. Plastic materials such as high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polyethylene terephthalate are collected and recycled for use in several end-use industries. However, the lack of proper plastic recycling infrastructure might hamper the market’s growth during the forecast period.
The plastic recycling market was badly hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic with challenges such as disruption in the supply chain and idling if factories surfaced. Market players have to adjust their working patterns to maintain a stable business operation. However, owing to the severity of the pandemic, the companies failed to implement the strategies effectively. As per the COVID-19 data by Veolia Environnement S.A., the company’s some recycling and sorting centres operated at a slower pace while others came to a complete standstill. The market witnessed decent growth owing to the increasing demand for recycled plastics in various end-use industries. Going forward, the market is projected to witness significant demand for plastic recycling in the packaging and automotive sector.
Plastic Recycling Market – By Material Type
Polyethylene terephthalate dominated the plastic recycling market in 2021. This type of plastic is one of the most popular plastics that find its extensive use in food packaging, clothing, carpet, automotive parts, construction materials, and many other applications. PET is easy to recycle which makes it the most recycled plastic in the world. Owing to such diverse properties and a wide range of end-use applications, research organizations, and market players are actively participating in the expansion of recycled PET portfolios in the market. For instance, in September 2020, French plastic recycling company SUEZ announced its partnership with Loop Industries to build a new facility centre in Europe for the production of 100% recycled and infinitely recyclable PET plastic. Such increasing development regarding PET plastic recycling is expected to increase its demand during the forecast period.
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Plastic Recycling Market – By End Use Industry
The packaging industry dominated the plastic recycling market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 7.4% during the forecast period. A wide variety of plastic materials such as polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, and polypropylene are recycled and used in different packaging applications globally. The demand for sustainable packaging is increasing owing to the increasing awareness among consumers regarding the benefits of recycled plastics and this is expected to contribute to the market’s growth during the forecast period. For instance, as per the December 2020 report by Waste & Resources Action Programme, the recycling of plastic packaging is exhibiting positive growth, accounting for 50% in 2019 which was at 44% in the previous year. This is attributed to the continuous efforts made by the citizens of the UK towards more recycling of plastics in packaging. Similarly, as per the data by The Coco Cola Company, 100% of its packaging will be recyclable by 2025 and the use of recycled plastics in food-grade packaging will be increased owing to the demand among consumers about sustainability. Such increasing demand for plastic recycling in the packaging sector is projected to stimulate higher recycling of plastics which in turn is expected to drive the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Plastic Recycling Market – By Geography
The Asia-Pacific region held the largest market share in the plastic recycling market in 2021 with a market share of up to 32%. The demand for plastic recycling is attributed to the increasing initiatives and regulations by different governments regarding the higher recycling of plastics in the region. The governments in the region, especially in the emerging economies are leaving no stone unturned to curb the marine pollution and overall adverse environmental impact caused by plastics. For instance, as per the November 2020 report by earth.org, Singapore aims to increase the overall recycling rate to 70% and reduce waste disposal in landfills by 30% by 2030. Similarly, as per the 2021 report by NITI Aayog, the Indian government announced Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules 2021 that recommends proper recycling methods according to the type of plastics. Such increasing enforcement of various government regulations is expected to ramp up the demand for plastic recycling in the region in an efficient way during the forecast period.
Plastic Recycling Market Drivers
Growing demand for recycled plastics in the packaging sector will drive the market’s growth
The demand for recycling of several plastics materials such as high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polyethylene terephthalate is growing in the packaging sector owing to the rising awareness among consumers about sustainability in packaging. This growing demand for recycled plastics in the packaging sector is expected to drive the market’s growth in the forecast period. For instance, in February 2021, The Coca-Cola Company unit in North America rolled out bottles made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate to cater to the growing demand among consumers for sustainable and convenient packaging solutions. Similarly, as per the April 2019 report by International Institute for Sustainable Development, Nestle, The Coca Cola Company, Diageo, and Unilever formed an alliance to ramp up plastic recycling in their packaging applications and increase consumer recycling rates in the coming years. Such massive growing demand for plastic recycling in the packaging sector is expected to contribute to the growth of the market in the forecast period.
Increasing initiatives and regulations by governments will drive the market’s growth
The rising concern of environmental pollution caused by virgin plastics have forced multiple governing bodies globally to come up with stringent regulation regarding higher recycling of plastic and this is expected to contribute positively towards the growth of the market during the forecast period. For instance, as per the January 2021 report by KPMG, the European Union aims to achieve the goal of recycling 55% of plastic packaging waste by 2030. Similarly, as per the November 2021 report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 2021 National Recycling Strategy was introduced by EPA that will deal with the enhanced recycling of municipal solid wastes consisting of plastics. Such increasing regulations by governments across the globe will help in the higher utilization of recycled plastics and this is anticipated to drive the market’s growth in the forecast period.
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Plastic Recycling Market Challenges
Lack of proper plastic recycling infrastructure might hamper the market’s growth
Recycling plastics is an energy-intensive and complex procedure and requires high-end infrastructure for achieving the end goal of efficient recycling. However, there is a lack of better infrastructure for plastic recycling and this might affect the market’s growth in the forecast period. Plastic waste recycling is managed decently in industrial economies where recycling is done with well-developed infrastructure. But this scenario is still a dream for underdeveloped countries. As per the November 2020 report by AIChE.org, underdeveloped countries lack the infrastructure for better recycling and management of plastic wastes. Such a challenge of improper plastic recycling infrastructure might hamper the market’s growth during the forecast period.
Plastic Recycling Industry Outlook
Investment in R&D activities, acquisitions, product and technology launches are key strategies adopted by players in this market. Plastic Recycling top 10 companies include:
Veolia Environnement S.A.
B&B Plastics Inc.
The Coca Cola Company
Ultra Poly Corporation
ReVital Polymers Inc.
In May 2021, Plastipak Packaging announced its plan to open a new PET recycling facility in Spain. This new facility will come into operations in the summer of 2022 and it will help Plastipak in fulfilling its commitment to corporate social responsibility.
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Polyethylene terephthalate dominated the plastic recycling market in 2021. PET plastics are accepted by most plants as these plastics are easy to recycle, making them a suitable choice in the market.
The increasing demand for recycled plastic in the packaging sector is expected to contribute to the market’s growth during the forecast period. For instance, as per the April 2019 report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, The Coca Cola Company, a market leader in plastic recycling, aims to use minimum 50% recycled material in its packaging application by 2030.
The Asia-Pacific region will witness the highest demand for plastic recycling owing to the increasing initiative and regulations by the region’s governments regarding the higher recycling of plastics. For instance, as per the data by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), in March 2021, the Japanese government adopted a bill to promote plastic recycling and reduce marine plastic litter issues.
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B. Plastics & Polymers Market
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