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The Americas recycled plastics market size was valued at USD 3,834.8 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 6,330.0 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period.
Recycled plastics are scrap or waste plastic materials that are reprocessed into raw materials to be used in place of virgin plastics. Since the majority of plastic material used is non-biodegradable, recycling of plastics is a vital process to reduce the burden of plastics present in the environment. As recycled plastics can typically perform the functions of virgin plastics and due to increasing regulations across the countries in the Americas to reduce the usage of single-use plastic products, end-use industries have taken steps to adopt these plastics as an alternative raw material. These plastics are primarily employed in the manufacture of packaging products owing to properties such as easy moldability and film ability.
The occurrence of the COVID-19 Pandemic Distresses Collection of Waste Plastics, Affecting Raw Material Availability
Recycling of plastics is a tedious process in which waste plastic products are picked up by rag-pickers and waste collection organizations from municipal wastes or landfills and deposited at collection centers. From there, the waste plastics are transported to the processing plant, where they are separated into different types along with the removal of other waste and contaminants. These are then processed to form plastic pellets. COVID-19 has significantly impacted the collection of waste with lockdowns announced by countries such as Brazil and Mexico and in some states of the U.S. For instance, 8 out of 10 states in the U.S. having mandatory containers buyback programs have temporarily halted enforcement, requiring retailers to participate in these programs. The movement of men and material alike was restricted for months since December 2019, which has thus significantly affected the raw material availability plastic recycling process.
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Favorable Changes in Regulatory Scenario Encouraging the Use of Recycled Plastics
With increasing concerns regarding the generation of waste and the presence of single-use plastics in the seawater bordering the Americas, countries such as the U.S., Peru, Brazil, and Canada have introduced regulations to reduce its impact and promote the usage of recycled plastics in various applications. For instance, legislation passed in the U.S. states of California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and North Carolina have made it mandatory to recycle plastic bottles in order to increase the span of plastic recycling and decrease the strain on landfills.
In addition, the recycling rates of countries such as the U.S. (9%), Canada (9%), and Chile (8.5%) are considerably lower than the average global recycling rate. Hence, various organizations and associations have taken steps and invested resources to develop a recycling culture in American countries. This trend shall support the growth of the recycled plastics market by simplifying the raw material procurement for the companies operating in the market.
Increasing Demand for Recycled Plastics in Packaging Industry to Support Growth
The demand for recycled plastics is rising in several industries such as food & beverage, automotive, construction, and consumer goods for packaging applications. With increasing concerns about food safety in the wake of COVID-19, the demand for food-safe packaging has expanded considerably in the Americas, especially in emerging countries such as Brazil and Colombia.
Recycled PET has become the preferred raw material for manufacturing bottles for packaged water and carbonated beverages. For instance, The Coca-Cola Company produces 50% of its bottles from the recycled grade of PET. Several organizations and associations have urged the large enterprises to increase the usage of recycled grades of plastics in their facilities and offerings. For instance, Nestlé and Veolia made a partnership to develop operations for collecting, sorting, and recycling of plastic waste in 11 countries across Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The companies aim to use up to 35% recycled material in their packaging products by 2025.
With companies such as Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, The Proctor & Gamble Company, and PepsiCo also making efforts to include recycled plastics for packaging of their products, the Americas recycled plastics market growth is expected to experience a booming period in the coming years.
Increasing Consciousness towards Energy Economics to Fuel the Market Growth
Utilization of recycled alternatives of plastics eradicates several processing steps required for the manufacture of conventional, virgin plastics, thereby improving the energy efficiency across the value chain. Production of virgin plastics involves energy-intensive processes such as extraction & refining of crude oil, polymerization, and conversion operations. On the other hand, the recycling of post-consumer and post-industrial waste allows manufacturers to produce plastic products by consuming a significantly lower amount of energy. Increasing demand for plastics owing to their favorable properties has warranted the usage of recycled alternatives, not only for maintaining the energy economy, but also to safeguard the environment from potential damage caused by the accumulation of plastic waste.
Preference Towards Use of Virgin Plastics To Hinder Market Demand
Virgin plastics have a significant advantage over recycled plastics in terms of quality and standards. Even though the regulatory organizations have permitted the use of post-consumer plastics in combination with virgin plastics, companies are skeptical towards using them due to the possibility of the presence of contamination, and the inability to maintain the standards required for packaging of products.
Besides, the occurrence of COVID-19 has resulted in a huge downfall in the prices of crude oil, leading to a reduction in the manufacturing cost of virgin plastics. According to S&P Global Platts, virgin PET price fell below the price of recycled PET in the second half of 2019 and is expected to create a predicament for recyclers and end-users in the near future. These factors are considered to hinder the growth of the market.
Polyethylene Terephthalate to Hold Prime Market Share
Based on type, the market of Americas Recycled Plastics is segmented into polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, polypropylene, low-density polyethylene, and others. Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) holds the largest share in the market as it shows properties similar to its virgin counterparts such as high rigidity, good chemical and moisture resistance, excellent insulation against heat & electricity, and the ability to form into films. On account of these properties, the application of recycled PET is growing in the manufacturing of packaging products such as bags, bottles, and containers for both food and non-food contact. According to the U.S. National Postconsumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report by the American Chemistry Council and the Association of Plastic Recyclers, processing of recycled PET bottle material, from combined domestic and imported sources, rose by 119 KT in 2018 as compared to that in 2017.
Recycled polypropylene finds application in the manufacturing of several household products and consumer goods such as furniture, electrical & electronic appliances, luggage, and toys. Furthermore, as a result of its extensive usage in the production of automotive parts, the segment is expected to grow at the second-fastest rate. On the flipside, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is used in the manufacture of non-food packagings such as bottles for detergents and chemicals, resulting in considerable growth of the segment in the Americas market for recycled plastics.
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Packaging Segment To Grow With Fastest Rate Over Forecast Period
Based on application, the market of Americas Recycled Plastics is segmented into packaging, construction, automotive, and others. The packaging segment is further bifurcated into the non-food packaging and food packaging industry. Recycled variants of plastics are primarily used in the manufacturing of packaging products as they are typically inexpensive as compared to their virgin plastic alternatives. Demand for packaging is swiftly rising to safeguard valuable products from potential harm caused by environmental factors. COVID-19 has also further inflated the demand for packaging products, especially for pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Owing to these factors, the packaging segment is projected to expand at the fastest rate in the market.
On the other hand, as the construction sector in emerging countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Peru stabilizes post COVID-19, the demand for polymer-based goods such as roofing tiles, plastic lumber, and insulation products is anticipated to expand, resulting in considerable growth of the segment in the coming years.
The market size in the U.S. stood at USD 1,862.2 million in 2019. The U.S. dominated the Americas recycled plastics market share owing to significant demand for manufacturing packaging products in the country, necessitated by increasing retail sales. According to a report by American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Industry Producers’ Statistics Group, retail sales in the U.S. grew by 1.6% during FY 2018-2019 due to improving financial stability and have further strengthened the demand for packaging products in the country. Furthermore, prominent companies such as The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have invested heavily in using recycled PET bottles for packaging their beverage products, thus strengthening the demand for recycled plastics in the country.
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The market of Americas Recycled Plastics in Canada is expected to grow during the forecast period as the government is pursuing a ban on single-use plastic products by 2021. A report by More Recycling for Canadian Plastics Industry Association stated that the use of Canadian recycled-PET in food & beverage bottles, non-food bottles, strapping, and fiber end products has increased overall since 2017.
On the other hand, Latin American countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Chile have actively adopted measures to reduce the usage of single-use plastic to keep a tab on the deteriorating environment in the region. In Colombia, single-use plastic packaging products below the dimensions of 30x30 cm are banned, while the tax on larger products was amplified by 100% in 2019. Chile, on the other hand, was the first country in Latin America to sign the Plastics Pact, an initiative to collaboratively control the impact of plastics on the environment. The restrictions implemented by the pact have reduced the usage of single-use plastic products. For instance, sales of plastic bags reduced by 16 KT in a single year since the signing of the pact in August 2018. The reduction in the use of single-use plastics provides a significant opportunity for the companies operating in the recycled plastics market to replace such plastics with their offerings.
Product Innovation and Partnerships with End-Users to be the Key Focus Areas for Market Players
Product innovation & partnerships with end-users are important strategies implemented by companies to maintain their position in the market. Veolia is the most prominent company related to the market. The company operates more than 670 waste management and processing facilities across the globe, wherein it recycles about 600KT of plastic waste annually. The company offers an extended range of resins including expanded polyethylene, expanded polypropylene, and others. The company is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a collaboration of over 40 manufacturers and end-users of plastic materials to reduce the usage and elimination of single-use plastics in the environment.
An Infographic Representation of Americas Recycled Plastics Market
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The global Americas recycled plastics market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, types, and applications. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
Value (USD Million)
Type; Application; and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the Americas recycled plastics market size was USD 3,834.8 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 6,330.0 million by 2027.
In 2018, the market value stood at USD 3,834.8 million.
Growing at a CAGR of 7.2%, the market will exhibit considerable growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).
The packaging application is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for recycled plastics in the packaging industry is the key factor driving the market.
Suez Group, Plastipak Holdings, and Veolia are the leading players in this market.
The U.S. dominated the Americas market in 2019.
Concerns regarding the accumulation of waste in the environment and stringent regulations on the usage of single-use plastics are the key factors driving the adoption of these products.
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