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Plastic recycling a 45 billion dollar industry in 2021

The global plastic recycling sector will be worth around US$ 45.5 billion (EUR 38 billion) this year, new market data reveals. The figure is expected to exceed US$ 65 billion (EUR 55 billion) by 2026, representing a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% during the forecast period.

On a global scale, the Asia Pacific region is anticipated to lead the plastics recycling market, says a new report by Research & Markets. This is mainly thanks to rapid industrialisation and the importance of waste management in countries like China, Japan, and India. Other factors include a surge in automotive and textile production as well as a big appetite for plastics in the construction industry.

By material, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is believed to be the fastest-growing segment in the years to come. ‘It is cost-efficient in terms of its recycling process, has high flexibility, which makes it suitable for use in various industries ranging from packaging, textiles and plastic film, to moulded parts for cars and electronics,’ market analysts state.

By application, the packaging segment is likely to come out on top. This is due to the rising popularity of food ‘to go’. By process, the mechanical segment will witness the most growth. Analysts cite low prices and wide availability of equipment as the main drivers.

Meanwhile, increasing demand and costs for recycled PET and high density polyethylene (HDPE) creates an interesting opportunity for plastic recyclers. At the same time, analysts argue that the lack of an established waste collection and sorting system for solid waste is posing a challenge for the plastic scrap market.

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