Growing consumer preference for recycled plastic products, fast-developing plastic waste management infrastructure, and stronger public-private commitments to curb plastic pollution have positioned the global recycled plastics market on a steep growth trajectory. Today, consumers, manufacturers, and policy makers are rapidly advancing towards more sustainable practices in waste management. Seeing the hazardous environmental effects of untreated industrial waste, illegal dumping of plastics in landfills, uncontrolled disposal of plastics in oceans, and rampant use of virgin plastic in virtually every product, corporates and governments across the world have accelerated their drive to robust plastic recycling initiatives.
Over the coming decade, global revenues from plastics recycling are expected to increase by about 30% annually. Driven by favorable regulations and demand for recycled plastic products, the global recycled plastics market is set to be worth US$30.2 Bn in 2026, rising from a value of US$19.5 Bn in 2019.
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Packaging, Automotive, Electronics: Key Segment in Terms of End-Use Industry
During the forecast period, the packaging industry will account for over 60% of the total market share of the global recycled plastics market. This is primarily due to the growing emphasis on sustainable packaging and the circular economy model. Within packaging, the food and beverages sector is the key growth drive. In recent years, technological developments have made recycled resins suitable for use in food applications – a factor that is fueling the demand for recycled plastics in the food and beverages sector. Consequently, leading food and beverages companies have pledged to significantly increase the usage of recycled plastics and compostable packaging in their supply chains and facilities. Other industries witnessing an increased demand for recycled plastics include the automotive industry and the electrical & electronics industry. These industries are poised to observe a surge in demand for auto parts, electric and electronic equipment, ICT products, and auto components made from recycled plastics. Moreover, robust green initiatives and investments in R&D are projected to aid partnerships across the business landscape of the global recycled plastics market.
Despite the sound growth opportunities in the recycled plastics market, concerns around cost and strict competition with first-use plastics in terms of performance are expected to be major obstacles hampering growth across the market. Moreover, improper waste management infrastructure, coupled with the ban on the import of certain waste plastic material in some economies, can further restrict rapid market growth in the near future.
North America to Emerge as the Regional Market Leader Across the Recycled Plastics Market
The fastest-growing region in the global recycled plastic market is North America due to robust plastic recycling programs, relentless green innovation, and presence of global corporations in this region. By 2026, Asia Pacific will hold more than half of the demand for recycled plastics due to the consistent demand for recycled plastics in the packaging, construction, and textile industries of China, India, and Southeast Asia. Further, innovation and greater consumer awareness are expected to substantially improve the plastic recycling rates in the EU by 2030. Prominent market players include Custom Polymers, Clear Path Recycling, Plastipak Holdings, Veolia, KW Plastics, Suez, B. Schoenberg & Co., Green Line Polymers, B&B Plastics, and Jayplas.
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