Post-Consumer Recycled Plastics Market Gears Up for $92.6 Billion Growth by 2028


The post-consumer recycled plastics market is projected to grow from USD 62.1  billion in 2023 to USD 92.6 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period. Growing awareness of environmental issues and the desire to reduce plastic waste have increased demand for post-consumer recycled plastics as a sustainable alternative to virgin plastics. Environmental concerns encompass a broad range of pressing issues, such as climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and habitat destruction, highlighting the urgent need for sustainable practices to mitigate their impact. Further, Stringent regulations and policies aimed at reducing plastic pollution and promoting recycling drive the demand for post-consumer recycled plastics.

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Based on the source, the bottle segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Bottles are a predominant source in the post-consumer recycled plastics market due to their widespread use, high visibility in plastic waste streams, and potential for recovery. The consumer-heavy reliance on bottled beverages and household products generates a significant volume of discarded plastic bottles, making them easily accessible for recycling.

Based on polymer type, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) holds the largest market share in the post-consumer recycled plastics market during the forecast period. PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is the most commonly recycled polymer type due to its favorable properties for recycling, widespread use in packaging (particularly bottles), and established recycling infrastructure. PET is highly compatible with mechanical recycling methods, enabling it to be reclaimed, cleaned, and reprocessed into new PET products without significant degradation in quality. Its clear identification, consistent composition, and easily recognizable form make PET recycling feasible on a large scale, driving efficient collection and sorting. 

Based on processing type, the mechanical segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Mechanical processing is preferred in the post-consumer recycled plastics market due to its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and ability to maintain the polymer’s inherent properties. Unlike chemical processes, mechanical recycling involves sorting, cleaning, shredding, and re-pelletizing plastic waste, preserving the original polymer’s structure. This method minimizes energy consumption and avoids the introduction of additional chemicals, resulting in recycled plastics that can closely match the characteristics of virgin materials.

Based on end-use application, the packaging accounted for the largest market share in 2023. Packaging is the largest application of post-consumer recycled plastics primarily due to its high demand, the focus on sustainability, and regulatory pressures. As consumer awareness about plastic waste and environmental concerns increases, there’s a growing emphasis on using recycled materials in packaging to reduce the ecological footprint. Additionally, the packaging industry benefits from the relatively well-established recycling infrastructure and the availability of post-consumer recycled plastics, which are particularly suitable for applications like bottles, containers, and film. By incorporating recycled plastics, packaging manufacturers can meet sustainability goals, appeal to eco-conscious consumers, and contribute to the circular economy by extending the life cycle of plastics. 

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 Based on region, Asia Pacific is expected to lead the post-consumer recycled plastics market in 2023, with India the fastest market in the region during the forecast period.  The Asia Pacific (APAC) region holds the position of the largest market for post-consumer recycled plastics due to several factors, including the region’s extensive manufacturing and consumer base, increasing awareness of environmental issues, and governmental initiatives promoting sustainable practices. The robust industrial sectors in countries like China, India, and Japan drive significant demand for recycled plastics as raw materials while rising consumer consciousness about plastic waste drives manufacturers to incorporate recycled content in their products. Moreover, APAC’s substantial waste generation creates a substantial supply of post-consumer plastic feedstock. Supported by favorable economic growth and a shift toward more eco-friendly practices, the APAC region has become a focal point for the adoption and expansion of post-consumer recycled plastics in various industries.

The leading players in the post-consumer recycled plastics market are Veolia Environnement SA (France), Suez SA (France), Waste Management, Inc. (US), Republic Services, Inc. (US), Waste Connections, Inc. (Canada), Biffa plc (UK), Clean Harbors, Inc. (US), Stericycle, Inc. (US), Remondis SE & Co. KG (Germany) and others.

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