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Recycled Plastic Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Polyethylene Terephthalate, High-density Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Low-density Polyethylene, and Others), By Application (Non-Food Packaging, Food Packaging, Construction, Automotive, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102568



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The global recycled plastic market size was USD 41.13 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 44.03 billion in 2021 to USD 76.23 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 8.2% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with products witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 2.6% in 2020. 

Recycled Plastic is scrap or waste plastic materials that are processed into useful products. Since most of the polymer materials used globally are non-biodegradable, recycling of these materials is the solution to reduce the burden of polymer present in the environment. The increasing restrictions on the usage of single-use polymers and the initiatives taken by governments in Europe, China, India, and Brazil are expected to promote cycling. For instance, the European Union has made plans to prohibit single-use polymer products since 2021. Moreover, the shift of end-use industries especially packaging and consumer goods towards sustainable or recyclable materials will drive market growth. Further, the innovation and development of products including packaging bottles, films, containers, and cutlery using Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) plastics will provide huge growth opportunities for the market.

COVID-19 Pandemic had a Significant Impact on the Production and Usage of Recycled Plastic

The plastic recycling industry had a significant impact during the pandemic owing to the difficulties faced in the collection of waste polymer products during the lockdown conditions. The halt in transportation activities resulted in a further reduction of waste reaching the processing plants. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has surged the problem of plastic pollution as the governments have eased restrictions over single-use polymers and end-users readopting these materials for health and protection reasons. Retail shops and supermarkets have started using single-use materials for the packaging of vegetables and fruits to maintain hygiene. This has reduced the demand from end-users.

However, with the depressing COVID-19 cases governments are strategizing plans to reduce pollution. For instance, the U.K. government has implemented the Plastic Packaging Tax 2022, which mandates the use of 30% recycled material in the plastic packaging products adopted in the market. Such an initiative will help in raising the demand.


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Regulations Imposed by Authorities to Surge the Adoption of Recycled Products

Regulations imposed by the government and regulatory bodies in North America and Europe are promoting the adoption of Recycled Plastic in several applications. For instance, the regulations in European countries for designing recycling processes, collection schemes, and innovation of products are encouraging polymer manufacturers towards recycling. Moreover, the ban on single-use polymer enforced by the countries such as the U.S., Brazil, India, and Canada to reduce plastic pollution will act as a supporting trend to the market.

Furthermore, the plastic recycling rates in countries such as India, China, and Mexico were 60%, 25%, and 24%, respectively, in 2018. The growing recycling rates in developing countries will provide growth opportunities for plastic recyclers across the globe. Therefore, the initiatives in the favour of recycling taken by several countries will stimulate the growth of the recycled plastic market.


Increasing Adoption in Packaging Industry to Drive Market

The demand for recycled materials is advancing in various industries such as food & beverage, and consumer goods. In the food & beverage industry, the consumption of recyclable polymer is increasing owing to the high demand for food-safe packaging material. These materials can effectively replace conventional plastics as a barrier between food products and environmental factors, which ultimately increases the market. Recycled polyethylene terephthalate is an ideal material significantly preferred in the manufacturing of bottles for water and beverage packaging.

Besides food and beverage packaging, recycled polymers are used in the packaging of products such as sports equipment, fashion accessories, and toys, which helps in increasing the product’s durability. Further, these plastics have found increased demand in the packaging of products such as soaps, surfactants, shampoos, and other personal care products due to their non-reactive nature. The rising usage in the manufacture of packaging products for consumer goods will boost the recycled plastics market growth.


Preference for Virgin Plastics over their Recycled Alternatives to Restrict Market

Virgin plastics are used in several applications, including the packaging of food to produce automotive components. They have a significant advantage over their recycled alternatives in terms of quality. Although the regulatory groups have developed mandates to increase the use of PCR plastics in packaging products, the manufacturers are doubtful about using them due to the chances of impurities.

Additionally, virgin polymers are preferred in applications that require specific compositions of chemicals and additives. Further, the pandemic caused a decline in crude oil prices, resulting in the reduction of virgin plastics' costs compared to its recycled alternative. The above factors are expected to restrict the market growth during the review period.


By Type Analysis

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Polyethylene Terephthalate to Remain the Leading Type Throughout the Forecast Period

On the basis of types, the market is segmented into polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and others. Polyethylene terephthalate is the largest segment owing to its large-scale usage for food packaging and bottling application. It witnesses a high demand for the packaging of food & beverage products as it is non-toxic, lightweight, durable, and has easy recyclability. The regulations placed by many governments across the globe have made bottled water and beverage manufacturers shift from virgin PET to recycled PET for the manufacture of packaging bottles. Furthermore, recycled PET finds application in the manufacture of carpets, furniture, and fibers, which is expected to boost the market.

PP is one of the majorly used plastics owing to its high demand from the packaging, and automotive industries. Several manufacturers use recycled PP for packaging their products as it is durable and more sustainable than its traditional counterparts. Automotive companies are replacing virgin PP parts with recycled PP as it reduces their overall carbon footprint.

HDPE is regarded as the most comfortable plastic to recycle. Around 30 million tonnes of HDPE waste is created every year globally. As HDPE is non-biodegradable, it becomes imperative to reuse and recycle this type of plastic to reduce its impact on the environment. Production of recycled HDPE reduces dependence on petroleum for raw materials and is cost-effective compared to virgin plastic production. Along with traditional applications of HDPE, recycled HDPE is also used to manufacture ropes, toys, pipes, and bins.

Besides, LDPE is considered to be a clean and safe plastic, but its production requires sizable amounts of petroleum products, which makes it imperative to develop a more sustainable, recycled alternative. Recycled LDPE finds application in construction as wall panels and floorings. It is also used in the manufacturing of furniture, garbage cans, and packaging bubble wrap, which further creates a growth opportunity for the market.

By Application Analysis

Non-Food Packaging Segment to Generate Highest Revenue

On the basis of application, the market is categorized into non-food packaging, food packaging, construction, automotive, and others. The non-food packaging segment is expected to remain the largest throughout the forecast period due to the high demand for recycled PET for manufacturing bottles and other packaging products such as films and wraps. These polymers are generally available at a lower price than virgin plastics, which further boosts demand for the manufacturing of packaging products.

On the other hand, these plastics also find significant applications in food packaging. Food product manufacturers seek materials that are not only safe for food handling but also sustainable and cheap. These prerequisites are met by recycled polymer, which leads to a high demand for recycled plastics from food product manufacturers.

The construction segment is considered to be one of the most prominent segments in terms of the application of the market. The growing use of recycled polymer in the production of numerous construction-related products such as flooring, wall panels, wallpaper films, pipes & fittings, and other building materials is expected to surge the demand in building & construction applications.

Similarly, the automotive application segment is expected to provide substantial growth in the sale of Recycled Plastic in the forecast period. The increase in the use of these plastics in the automotive industry as a replacement for costlier conventional polymers for the manufacture of body parts is expected to create growth opportunities for the market.


Asia Pacific Recycled Plastic Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The recycled plastic market in the Asia Pacific stood at USD 24.35 billion in 2020 and is expected to remain the largest throughout the forecast period due to China and India being the leading Recycled Plastic consuming countries. A large number of bottled water manufacturers are present in the region, which results in the large-scale consumption of plastic bottles. Additionally, the packaging industry is swiftly growing, which further accentuates the market in the region. China is the dominating country in the region owing to the high production and consumption of packaging products. 

On the other hand, in Europe, the demand for products from the construction and automotive industry is growing at a substantial rate. The market growth will be supported by regulations put forward by the European Union in 2021 to effectively reduce the usage of single-use plastics in the region.

In North America, the U.S. accounted for the larger recycled plastic market share of the market due to the increase in demand from the packaging and automotive industries. The market growth in North America will be subpar as compared to Asia Pacific and Europe due to the slowdown of the construction industry in the region, but the rise in food packaging is expected to create lucrative opportunities for stakeholders in the region.

In the Middle East & Africa, the key factors influencing the growth of the market are the increased demand from food packaging and construction applications. In this region, food packaging shall be the primary application for Recycled Plastic. The rise in demand for lightweight yet sustainable food packaging shall augment the use of this polymer over traditional ones in the region.

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Latin America is projected to witness considerable growth in the market. The increased consumption of plastics due to the ban placed on single-use plastic products and the growing number of packaging product manufacturers are factors surging the market growth in the region.


Key Market Players to Use Product Innovation to Enhance the Performance of their Offerings

The major producers are present throughout the globe. One of the major companies, The Coca-Cola Company Incorporated is expanding throughout the globe by using strategies such as joint ventures, product innovation, and expansion. The company has made a World Without Waste strategy to convert 100% of its packaging into recyclable products by 2025 and use about 50% of recycled material in the company’s packaging products by 2030. Also, the Coca Cola Company, Diageo, Nestlé, and Unilever formed the ‘African Plastics Recycling Alliance’ to change the plastic recycling market across sub-Saharan Africa.


  • KW Plastics (U.S.)

  • Veolia (France)

  • Custom Polymers (U.S.)

  • Plastipak Holdings (U.S.)

  • The Coca-Cola Company Incorporated (U.S.)

  • Suez (France)

  • B. Schoenberg & Co. U.S.)

  • Fresh Pak Corporation (U.S.)

  • B&B Plastics (U.S.)

  • Green Line Polymers (U.S.)

  • Ultra Poly Corporation (U.S.)

  • Clear Path Recycling (U.S.)

  • Jayplas (U.K.)

  • MBA Polymers (U.S.)

  • RJM International Inc. (U.S.)

  • CarbonLite Industries LLC (U.S.)

  • Envision Plastics Industries LLC (U.S.)

  • ReVital Polymers (Canada)


  • May 2021 –Plastipak Holdings has invested in a new recycling plant at its manufacturing facility in Toledo, Spain. This plant will commence production in early 2022 and produce food-grade recycled PET (rPET) pellets from PET flake for application in preforms, bottles, and containers. This plant will produce 20 kilotons of food-grade pellets annually.

  • May 2020 –Coca-Cola started using 100% rPET packaging in all the small plastic bottles offered in the Netherlands and Norway. This will support company’s strategy of global World Without Waste. The company also planned to use 100% rPET in its large plastic bottles in 2021.


An Infographic Representation of Recycled Plastic Market

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The market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights and a detailed analysis of the market size & growth rate for all possible segments in the market. Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of the market dynamics, global recycled plastic market trends, and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are the recent industry developments, regulatory scenarios in crucial countries, macro, and microeconomic factors, SWOT analysis, and key industry trends.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



 Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Ton)


  By Type, By Application, and By Geography

By Type

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

  • High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

  • Polypropylene (PP)

  • Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

  • Others

By Application

  • Non-Food Packaging

  • Food Packaging

  • Construction

  • Automotive

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America

    • By Type

    • By Application

    • By Country

      • U.S. (By Type)

      • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe

    • By Type

    • By Application

    • By Country

      • Germany (By Type)

      • U.K. (By Type)

      • France (By Type)

      • Italy ( By Type)

      • Spain (By Type)

      • Poland (By Type)

      • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Application)

    • By Type

    • By Application

    • By Country

      • China (By Type)

      • India (By Type)

      • Japan (By Type)

      • South Korea (By Type)

      • Southeast Asia (By Type)

      • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Latin America (By Application)

    • By Type

    • By Application

    • By Country

      • Brazil (By Type)

      • Mexico (By Type)

      • Rest of Latin America (By Type)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Application)

    • By Type

    • By Application

    • By Country

      • Saudi Arabia (By Type)

      • Turkey (By Type)

      • Egypt (By Type)

      • Rest Of Middle East & Africa(By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market was valued at USD 41.13 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 76.23 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the market value stood at USD 41.13 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 8.2%, the market will exhibit rapid growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

Polyethylene terephthalate is expected to lead the market during the forecast period.

Increasing demand from the packaging industry is the key factor driving the global market.

Plastipak Holdings, Suez Group, and Veolia are the leading players in this market.

Asia Pacific held the highest market share in the global market in 2020.

The rising demand for recyclable plastics from the automotive industry and government policies restricting the single-use plastics consumption are the key factors driving the product adoption.

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