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Global Plastic Market Recycling – A Change to Improve Global Environmental Outcomes
Due to the continuous increase in global warming caused by the man-made emissions, it is evident that burning of oils and fossil fuels is escalating climate change, causing a great threat to the environment and living beings. Plastic contributes greatly to spreading greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and thereby altering the ozone layer, resulting in excessive heat, loss of cloud forests, melting of glaciers and rises in sea levels. So what measures can be taken to reduce plastic pollution?
For many years, the global temperature of the planet was intact until new technologies came in, which resulted in a huge change in the environment. It is high time that large-scale recycling of plastics is considered. Since plastic is non-biodegradable, it offers a lot of opportunities for business as it can be both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. The global plastic recycling market is expected to witness a healthy growth at a CAGR of 5.04% during the forecast years due to the rise in demand for recycled plastic. Recycling plastic from scrap and waste and then turning it into useful products has been a major driver for many commercial industries as it is both environmentally and economically efficient. Recycled plastic can be turned into a wide range of products such as carrier bags, water jugs, wheel arches, bumpers, waterproof membranes, building materials, reusable boxes, trash cans, composite pits, food trays, water bottles and various clothing fabrics. a great opportunity for the plastics industry to make a good fortune. The global plastic recycling market is driven by increasing preference for recycled plastic over new plastic due to the pollution caused by the plastic when it is disposed of in oceans or other bodies of water. In addition, energy saved during the production of recycled plastic positively affects the growth of the market. Furthermore, ongoing research activities to find an effective method of recycling plastic waste worldwide are expected to boost the growth of the market over the next few years. In terms of end-use industry, the plastic recycling industry is categorized into packaging, building and construction, textile, automotive, electrical & electronics, and others. Of this, the packaging industry had the largest market share among all end-use industries in the global plastic recycling market. Asia Pacific and North America have been found to be the largest generators and recyclers of plastic waste. Dominance of the Asia Pacific region can be attributed to the chemical and mechanical industry. The initiative to limit the use of plastic through financial disincentives has shown results and brought about drastic changes in consumer behavior. China, Japan and India accounted for over a quarter of the total plastic waste recycled worldwide in previous years.
Some widely used different types of plastics are:
1. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
PET is a colourless, light and strong plastic. It is a widely used plastic and is readily available in the market in the form of bottles, polyester clothing, medicine and jars. According to the Food and Drug Administration, PET is safe and can be easily recycled. The Asia Pacific region has the maximum share in the production of PET globally, which is expected to increase the market globally in the coming years.
2. High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
Out of all the polyethylenes, HDPE is classified as the most versatile plastic available with numerous applications. Being strong in nature qualifies HDPE to be compatible with building materials, large containers and pipes. The increase in demand for recycled plastic in the construction sector is a key driver that is increasing the plastic recycling market in China.
3. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl)
PVC falls under the third most versatile plastic due to its hard and inflexible nature. It is widely used in medical, construction and electrical industries and its property of being resistant to bacteria makes it very useful for the medical industry. The demand for PVC in the pipeline industry is also driving the plastic recycling market worldwide.
4. Polypropylene (PP)
PP is one of the strong and long-lasting plastic types. It can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for many applications, especially in the food and beverage industry. It is a strong plastic and is less flexible and thus retains its shape after some time. DVDs, containers for hot food, storage boxes are made of polypropylene (PP). The plastic recycling market in Spain is expected to grow at an impressive rate due to the growing awareness among the population about the disposal of plastic waste.
5. Polystyrene (PS)
PS, also known as Styrofoam, is an environmentally friendly plastic which is transparent and brittle in nature. Usually PS is used for a short period of time and can be potentially dangerous to humans as it can release neurotoxins which can inhibit the nervous system. PS is cost effective and is made safe for market use and is used in the manufacture of cutlery, food containers, building insulation, etc. Canada is expected to see an increase in the PS industry in the coming years.
What is the current market potential for global plastic recycling?
The plastic recycling market is highly fragmented with more than 25,000 players operating globally in the market. The Asia Pacific market is estimated to grow strongly during the forecast period as the region has become a manufacturing hub for chemical and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, food processing, medical and electronic equipment. Dominance of the Asia-Pacific region in the global plastic recycling market can be attributed to growing awareness of the recovery of main polymers through mechanical and chemical recycling.
What is causing a major boom in the global plastic recycling market?
The global plastic recycling market is driven by increasing preference for recycled plastic over virgin plastic due to water pollution caused by plastic when it is disposed of in oceans or other bodies of water. Ongoing research activities to find an effective method of recycling plastic waste worldwide is expected to boost the growth of the market over the next few years. Governments are increasingly requiring plastic bottles to be made from at least 25% recycled plastic by 2025 and 30% by 2030. The ever-growing demand for recycled plastic products due to the expanding packaging industry across the globe is fueling the demand for plastic recycling. Increasing number of construction and infrastructure projects across the globe is also increasing the demand for polymers in a wide range of applications such as window glass etc.
Which region has the highest share of the global plastic recycling market?
The APAC region holds the maximum share of the global plastic recycling market. In 2019, the Chinese plastics industry accounted for 26% of the global production of plastics. For many years, China received the majority of plastic scrap from various countries such as the US, Germany, Japan, Australia, etc., and processed much of it into a higher quality material that could be used by manufacturers. In 2018, China imposed a ban on the import of plastic waste and closed its doors to almost all foreign plastic waste, as well as many other recyclable materials, to protect the local environment and air quality and to further strengthen its domestic plastic recycling market.
What is the current market landscape for global plastic recycling?
The key players consider the rise in demand for plastic recycling from various industries to be the key driving factor for the market during the forecast period. The big companies focus on innovation and research and development (R&D) to create durable and better products and gain a competitive advantage over the other big players.
What are the challenges of Global Plastic Recycling Market?
Due to the onset of COVID-19, disruptions to business cycles will necessarily affect demand across all core industries globally. The severity of the pandemic is exacerbated by the fact that many industries are operating at reduced capacity, which consequently also lowers the number of employees. The reduced number of workers will create a challenge for manufacturers of industrial plastic products to meet the demand from end-user industries. The ban on the import of plastic waste for treatment and recycling in China has caused a huge crisis among major exporting countries. In addition, with a shrinking and shrinking export market for plastic waste, the governments of various nations in Europe and Asia are focusing on recycling plastic and producing recyclable plastic products.
Some of the major companies in the global plastic recycling market include Covanta Energy Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd., SUEZ NWS limited, The shakti Plastic Industries, Eco Wise Waste Management Pvt Ltd, Cleanaway Melbourne, Sapporo Plastic Recycle KK, DH Recycling Ltd, Veolia Indonesia, IAV Global, Poly Pipe Recyclers, Polystar Machinery Co Ltd.
The global plastic recycling market is expected to experience healthy growth during the forecast years due to the rise in demand for recycled plastic for various applications and manufacturing of recycled products such as carrier bags, water jugs, moisture-proof membranes, building materials, reusable boxes, trash cans, composite pit, food trays, water bottles. The disruption in the total import and export of plastic waste due to COVID-19 across several countries is expected to lead to a decrease in the total recycled plastic waste in 2020. Over the past few years, it has been observed that more and more companies are taking a pledge to reduce plastic waste and switch to 100% recyclable packaging. This wave of enthusiasm and awareness is increasing the demand for plastic recycling globally and encouraging companies to set up plastic recycling facilities.
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