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Plastic Recycling Market Trends

ID: MRFR//2113-CR | 128 Pages | Author: Tejas Chaudhary| April 2024

Global Plastic Recycling Market Overview

Plastic Recycling Market size was valued at USD 43,117.9 Million in 2023. the plastic recycling industry is projected to grow from USD 46,696.7 Million in 2024 to USD 85,475.10 Million by 2032, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% during the forecast period (2024 - 2032). Government plans and initiatives towards creating a sustainable environment vary across regions and play a significant role in driving the demand for plastic recycling. The demand for plastic recycling is growing rapidly, as more and more countries are implementing regulations to reduce plastic pollution. The increasing focus on producing recycled plastics is a critical driver of plastic recycling growth. As environmental concerns intensify, and the global community places a stronger emphasis on sustainability, the demand for recycled plastics is expected to continue rising.

Plastic Recycling Market

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Plastic Recycling Market Trends

  • Increasing Focus on Producing Recycled Plastics     

Growing public awareness of the detrimental environmental impacts of plastic waste has led to increased demand for sustainable solutions. Consumers, businesses, and governments are now more conscious of the importance of reducing plastic pollution and are actively seeking ways to support recycling initiatives. Advancements in recycling technologies have improved the efficiency and quality of recycled plastics. Innovative processes allow for better sorting, cleaning, and reprocessing, making recycled plastics more appealing to manufacturers. As the demand for sustainable products grows, manufacturers are increasingly using recycled plastics in their goods. Additionally, the cost of recycled plastics is becoming more competitive compared to virgin plastics, making it an economically viable option. The packaging industry, which is a major consumer of plastic, has witnessed a surge in sustainability initiatives. Many companies and retailers are opting for more eco-friendly and recyclable packaging, driving the demand for recycled plastics. This trend will spur further innovation and investment in the plastic recycling industry, leading to a more circular and environmentally conscious approach to plastic usage and waste management.

Government Support Towards Sustainable Environment

Government plans and initiatives towards creating a sustainable environment vary across regions and play a significant role in driving the demand for plastic recycling. Different countries and regions have distinct environmental challenges, priorities, and strategies to address plastic pollution and promote recycling. The EU has been at the forefront of sustainable environmental policies, including plastic recycling. The European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy aims to increase plastic recycling, reduce plastic waste, and promote sustainable plastic production. In the United States, various states and cities have implemented their own plans and regulations to drive plastic recycling. For instance, California's Plastic Pollution Reduction Act aims to reduce single-use plastic waste by requiring producers to use a certain percentage of recycled content in plastic beverage containers. Japan has been actively promoting plastic recycling through various policies and initiatives. The country has adopted the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) strategy to minimize plastic waste generation. The Green Purchasing Law in Japan encourages the procurement of products with recycled content, driving the demand for recycled plastics.

Genox Recycling entered into a plastic recycling joint venture (JV) with LyondellBasell in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province, Southern China, disclosed on April 18th, 2024 by LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB). This plant will recycle plastic waste via mechanical recycling technology and generate new polymers, thereby extending LyondellBasel CirculenRecover product lines. As Guangdong Genox LyondellBasell New Material Co., Ltd., this JV represents a strategic alliance. Yvonne van der Laan, executive vice president of Circular & Low Carbon Solutions at LyondellBasell, noted that this recent announcement is proof of their progress in recycling investments. She emphasized that the joint venture aligns with LYB's dedication to fostering a circular economy for plastics and is an important part of their strategy to enhance their circular polymer portfolio in China.

Plastic Recycling Market Segment Insights:

Plastic Recycling, Material Insights

Based on material, the Plastic Recycling Market segmentation includes polyolefins, polyethylene, polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and others. The polyethylene segment held the majority plastic recycling market share in 2022 and is expected to grow at a significant growth rate. Polyethylene is a popular material for packaging because it is strong, lightweight, and moisture resistant. It is used in a wide variety of packaging applications, including bottles, bags, films, and food containers. Polyethylene is also used in construction, as it is a good insulator, and it is lightweight. It is commonly used in insulation boards, foam cups, and disposable food containers.

Figure 1: Plastic Recycling Market, by Material, 2022 & 2032 (USD Million)

Plastic Recycling Market, by Material, 2022 & 2032

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Plastic Recycling Process Insights

The Plastic Recycling Market segmentation, based on recycling process, includes mechanical and chemical. The Mechanical segment dominated the Plastic Recycling market in 2022 and is expected to continue dominating the Plastic Recycling industry during the forecast period 2023-2032. Mechanical recycling is a process that involves physical actions to transform plastic waste into new materials. The process includes various stages such as sorting, cleaning, shredding, and pelletizing. Mechanical recycling is suitable for recycling rigid plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used in water bottles, polyethylene (PE) used in containers and bags, polypropylene (PP) used in food containers, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) used in milk jugs and detergent bottles. These plastics have relatively high melting points, allowing them to be melted and reprocessed without significant chemical changes.

Plastic Recycling Source Insights

The source segment of the plastic recycling market size includes residential, commercial, and industrial. The residential segment dominated the Plastic Recycling market in 2022 and is expected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period 2023-2032. The residential source segment is the biggest contributor to plastic waste in the plastic recycling industry. This means that the most plastic items that are collected for recycling come from households. Plastic in residential places is acquired from food packaging (bottles, containers, wrappers) to various other household items (shopping bags, cleaning supplies, personal care products). Many plastic items used in households are designed for single use, and then thrown away. All these factors contribute to the segments larger market share.

In Orlando, Florida, Clariant is excited to present at NPE2024 the company’s latest solutions in support of safety and efficiency for the plastics industry with increased circularity and waste reduction. Additionally, Clariant will be launching its new AddWorks PPA product range for the polyolefin film extrusion market at NPE 2024. The new AddWorks PPA polymer additive range provides very easy processing but also guarantees high optical film qualities (haze, gloss, clarity) by eliminating sharkskin and dye build-up effects. Stress-strain mechanical properties like tensile strength as well as sealing characteristics are unchanged by the new compositions while the materials exhibit high thermal stability and low or no migration rates; they have low let-down ratios (LDRs), which is tantamount to competitive cost-in-use.

Plastic Recycling Application Insights

The application segment of the plastic recycling market size includes packaging, construction, textile, automotive, electronics, and others. The packaging segment dominated the plastic recycling market in 2022 and is expected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period 2023-2032. There is a growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions that are environmentally friendly. Recycled plastics are a more sustainable option than virgin plastics, as they help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and the environment. The cost of producing recycled plastics is lower than the cost of producing virgin plastics. This is because recycled plastics do not require as much energy and resources to produce.

Plastic Recycling Regional Insights

By region, the plastic recycling market report provides market insights into North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East and Africa. The Asia Pacific plastic recycling market held the largest market share in 2022 and is expected to exhibit a significant CAGR growth during the forecast period. Consumers and businesses in the Asia Pacific region are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of plastic pollution. This is leading to a growing demand for recycled plastic products. Governments in the Asia Pacific region are implementing stricter regulations on plastic waste disposal. This is encouraging businesses to adopt more sustainable practices, such as using recycled plastic.

The Europe plastic recycling market held the second largest market share in 2022 and is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. The European Union has set ambitious recycling targets, including a goal of recycling 50% of plastic packaging waste by 2025. This is forcing businesses to find ways to use more recycled plastic in their products. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the products they buy, and they are willing to pay a premium for products made from recycled materials. New technologies are making it possible to recycle a wider variety of plastics more efficiently. This is helping to close the loop on plastic waste and create a more circular economy.

Figure 2: Plastic Recycling Market Size by Region 2022 & 2032 (USD Million)

Plastic Recycling Market Size by Region 2022 & 2032

Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

The North America plastic recycling market held the third largest market share in 2022 and is expected to register a significant CAGR growth during the forecast period. People in North America are increasingly worried about plastic pollution and its impact on the environment. This is leading to a push for more sustainable practices, including increased recycling. Governments across North America are enacting regulations that promote plastic recycling and restrict the use of virgin plastic. For example, some states in the US and Canada have mandated minimum recycled content in plastic products. Consumers are demanding more sustainable products, and recycled plastic is seen as an eco-friendly alternative. This is creating a market for recycled plastic products, which in turn incentivizes businesses to invest in recycling infrastructure.

Plastic Recycling Key Market Players & Competitive Insights

The growth companies in the plastic recycling market depends on market conditions, government support, and industry development. Thus, the companies should focus on expanding geographically and improving services. Seraphim Plastics, MBA Polymers Inc, Kuusakoski Group Oy, Envision Plastics, Polyco, Veolia Environment S.A., Custom Polymers, Inc, Plastic Recycling Inc, KW Plastics, Inc., and Indorama Venture are the major companies in the plastic recycling market which compete in terms of availability, quality, price, and technology. They primarily focus on the development of plastic recycling process. Although international players dominate the plastic recycling market, regional and foreign players with small market shares also have a presence. The international players may strengthen their presence worldwide through acquisitions during the forecast period. It has also been forecast that improvement of the global economic scenario, combined with efforts to enhance infrastructure in emerging nations, is fueling the plastic recycling market growth.

For the first time ever since its inception, BASF has brought Ccycled® products made in America to market using feedstock from plastic waste, according to information from February 2024. Utilizing its global expertise in ChemCycling, BASF provides ISCC+-certified advanced recycled building blocks to customers from the BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemicals (BTP) facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Part of the fossil resources is replaced by ChemCycling, which utilizes recycled feedstock derived from plastic waste in conventional production processes. The mass balance approach attributes the advanced recycled building blocks to the recycled feedstock. These building blocks can be used for many BASF products manufactured in the US, such as super absorbent polymers, engineered plastics, or polyurethanes.

Key Companies in the Plastic Recycling Market include

  • Seraphim Plastics

  • MBA Polymers Inc

  • Kuusakoski Group Oy

  • Envision Plastics

  • Polyco

  • Veolia Environment S.A.

  • Custom Polymers, Inc

  • Plastic Recycling Inc

  • KW Plastics, Inc.

  • Indorama Venture

Plastic Recycling Market Industry Developments

  • In June 2023, MBA Polymers UK, the plastics division of U.K.-based metal recycling company EMR, has launched a UL-certified acrylonitrile butadiene styrene product, ABS 4125 UL, that contains more than 95 percent-recycled content and can be used in manufacturing electronics, automobiles, and consumer goods.

  • In June 2023, Recycled resin manufacturer Envision Plastics is investing to increase its EcoPrime manufacturing capacity, furthering its efforts in being a market leader in fit-for-food contact postconsumer recycled (PCR) polyethylene resin.

  • In June 2023, Envision Plastics is to add a processing line for recycling high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) at its Reidsville facility in North Carolina, said Recyclingtoday. According to the company, the additional line would increase its capacity to produce recycled HDPE by 50%. Envision’s current combined capacity for recycled HDPE and PP stands at 55m lbs/year (25,000 tonnes/year).

Plastic Recycling Market Segmentation

Plastic Recycling Market Material Outlook

  • Polyolefins

  • Polyethylene

    • HDPE

    • LDPE

  • Polypropylene (PP)

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

  • Polystyrene

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)

  • Others

Plastic Recycling Market Recycling Process Outlook

  • Mechanical

  • Chemical

Plastic Recycling Market Source Outlook

  • Residential

  • Commercial

  • Industrial

Plastic Recycling Market Application Outlook

  • Packaging

  • Construction

  • Textile

  • Automotive

  • Electronics

  • Others

Plastic Recycling Market Regional Outlook

  • North America

    • US

    • Canada

    • Mexico

  • Europe

    • UK

    • Germany

    • France

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe

  • Asia Pacific

    • China

    • India

    • Japan

    • Rest of APAC

  • Rest of the World

    • UAE

    • South Africa

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