Recycled Plastic Market - Trends

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Recycled Plastic Market - Trends

The current and future trends in the recycled plastics market include innovative cleaning technology, big data and data visualization, plastics to fuel technology, NIR in plastic recycling, and sustainable packaging.


  • In 2018, the total market value of the recycled plastics market was USD 35.4 billion.
  • The market size is expected to touch USD 50.5 billion in 2024 at a CAGR of 6.1%.
  • North America is leading the global recycled plastics market due to the increasing demand for recycled plastics in the region.
  • North America is followed by Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
  • The global recycled plastics market is flourishing chiefly due to the high manufacturing costs of virgin resins which has "necessitated the use of recycled plastic products".


1. Innovative Cleaning Technology

  • New cleaning technology has been introduced to remove odor, color, and other impurities from polypropylene. As a result, recycled plastics are brand new and can be reused.
  • The usage of new cleaning technology is a current trend and is expected to have a positive impact on plastic recycling.
  • The cleaning technology is capable of enhancing the quality of recycled plastic. Therefore, the usage of plastics can grow without affecting the conservation of natural resources.
  • The brand new technology is being adopted by PureCycle Technologies, embedded in Ohio, U.S.

2. Big Data and Data Visualization

  • Big data and data visualization is capable of gathering data on plastic pollution which can be used to understand and create more awareness about the way plastic affects our ecosystem.
  • The use of big data and data visualization is not widespread in the global recycled plastics market. However, in the future, it will be full-fledged and help scientists to analyze and better understand the "natural systems and ocean pollution patterns to optimize interventions".
  • Big data and data visualization can be used to better understand the problems surrounding plastics. A better understanding of the problem will ensure better choices are made regarding plastic recycling.
  • The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit organization, is partnering with Dataiku to implement this technology to produce valuable new knowledge on the matter.

3. Plastics To Fuel Technology

  • Plastics to fuel technology aims to create an eco-friendly and cost-effective opportunity to produce clean fuel via plastic recycling.
  • Plastics to fuel is a current thriving trend, primarily promoted by governments across the globe to minimize the dumping of plastic waste.
  • Plastics to fuel technology can reduce the usage of crude oil and protect the environment.
  • PK Clean Technologies has collaborated with Sustane Technologies to effectively produce clean fuel from plastic recycling.

4. Near-Infrared (NIR) in Plastic Recycling

  • Near-infrared in the plastic recycling process helps in moving and sorting materials at high speed. "Automatic sorters interface NIR sensing with air nozzles to sort plastic items of various resin compositions. For example, separating PET bottles from HDPE bottles".
  • NIR is not widespread in the usage of plastic recycling. Several innovations are being made in NIR spectroscopy which has just entered the plastic recycling market. However, in the future, this technology will experience tremendous growth in the said market.
  • Through NIR, moving and sorting of materials in a quick manner is possible in the plastic recycling process. It also ensures various resin compositions are sorted accurately. As a result, plastic recycling is more effective and quick.
  • WRAP, an organization in the UK, uses NIR for sorting and moving various resin compositions.

5. Sustainable Packaging

  • Sustainability and resource conservation organizations and other non-profit organizations are constantly promoting plastic-free lives. Also, environmental activists are creating awareness about the negative impact of plastic dumping. These online petitions are gaining large recognition through social media.
  • Brand owners and retailers, as a result, are pressurized to come up with sustainable plastic packaging. And, brands who are already using sustainable packaging are succeeding.
  • All these factors have contributed to the growth of recyclable plastic packaging.
  • Sustainable packaging is an existing trend, however, it is not widespread. But, it is expected to grow in the upcoming years.
  • Recyclable packaging will reduce the negative impact on our ecosystem caused by plastic dumping.
  • Lush, Tata Harper, and Kevin Murphy are some of the popular brands using sustainable packaging.



We began our research by examining market research domains to identify the current and future trends in the global recycled plastics market. Most of the reports were entirely paywalled while some provided snippets of the report. Making use of the brief information found on these reports, we came up with five current and future trends surrounding global plastic recycling.

We have provided the links to five paywalled reports that provide an in-depth analysis of the global plastic recycling market with special attention to certain regions where plastic recycling is widespread. The reports include current and future trends, the key players in the market, the disposition of plastic recycling in the global market, the leading regions in plastic recycling, and the industries that are chiefly using plastics such as food and beverage, automotive, and healthcare.