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Plastics recycling market to be worth US$47 billion by 2026

A new report by Global Industry Analysts (GIA) projects that the global plastics recycling market will be worth US$47 billion in five years’ time. According to the report, growth in the global market is being driven by ongoing efforts toward environmental sustainability, prompting industries to focus on plastic recycling.

One factor boosting the market is availability of advanced plastic waste management technologies. Growing government support in countries such as India, China, Southeast Asia, Brazil and European nations to promote the use of recyclable plastic products augurs well for the market. In this regard, several countries have announced legislations to restrict single-use plastics to reduce their environmental impact.

For instance, China has banned the use of non-recyclable plastic in metropolitan cities in 2020 that is expected to be expanded throughout the country by 2022.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the global market for plastic recycling estimated at US$33 billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$47.3 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1  per cent over the analysis period. PET, one of the segments analysed in the report, is projected to grow at a 6.9 per cent CAGR to reach US$15.5 billion by the end of the analysis period.

After a thorough analysis of the business implications of the pandemic and its induced economic crisis, growth in the HDPE segment is readjusted to a revised 5.9 per cent CAGR for the next 7-year period. This segment currently accounts for a 19.6 per cent share of the global plastics recycling market. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is the dominant segment due to its widespread usage in applications such as food packaging and bottling. Recycled PET has replaced virgin PET in manufacturing packaging bottles due to regulations by many governments on virgin PET. Recycled PET is also used in manufacturing furniture, fibres and carpets, which boosts the market further.