Plastic bottle recycling has emerged as a key topic in recent years due to the steady acknowledgment of the adverse effect of the increasing volume of plastic waste generated by humans. Due to the favorable properties of plastics, plastic bottles have now become the norm in the packaging of a wide variety of substances. However, most plastics aren’t biodegradable, which leads to the generation of significant volumes of plastic waste, which can be neither buried nor incinerated without causing severe environmental problems. As a result of this situation, the global plastic bottle recycling market is likely to post a steady growth rate in the coming years.
Type of plastic dominates demand from the global plastic bottle recycling market
By plastic type, the global plastic bottle recycling market is divided into polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Of these, PET bottles are the leading segment of the plastic bottle recycling market, as PET has become the material of choice in the food and beverages industry, which is making the most of the rise in the demand for packaged food and beverages. HDPE bottles are also likely to hold a key share in the global plastic bottle recycling market in the coming years.
Key regional markets for plastic bottle recycling technology
Geographically, North America is likely to dominate the global plastic bottle recycling market in the coming years thanks to the steady prospects for the market in the U.S. The U.S. has a comprehensive recycling system for plastic bottles due to the rising awareness among the citizens about the ill-effects of plastic waste, and the presence of several leading consumers of plastic bottles, such as Coca Cola.
Government support to the adoption of plastic bottle recycling has also been forthcoming in the U.S. The Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council, for instance, started a new campaign in April 2017, to make people want to recycle plastic bottles rather than throwing them away. Apart from the environmental benefits of recycling plastic bottles, there are significant economic benefits of plastic bottle recycling, which are being stressed upon in the campaign. The campaign is intended to illustrate the nature of plastic bottle recycling and its benefits to the community.
A popular apparel brand, Target, recently started selling clothes made from recycled plastic bottles. In partnership with Repreve, Target hopes to commercialize a chain of clothes produced without harming the environment. The use of recycled plastic bottles in clothing is likely to receive increased demand in the coming years
Key drivers for the plastic bottle recycling market
One of the key drivers for the global plastic bottle recycling market is the decline in the volume of oil wells across the world. As plastics are petroleum derivatives, plastic bottle recycling helps conserve petroleum. According to the U.S. EPA, recycling one ton of plastic bottles conserves the energy equivalent of 3.8 oil barrels.
On the other hand, plastic bottle recycling is a complicated and expensive process, which could restrain the plastic bottle recycling market’s growth in some regions. The key difficulty in plastic bottle recycling is that different plastic polymers can’t be mixed and have to be separated before being used again. Despite steady research into developing compatible plastic polymers, this is likely to remain an influential restraint on the global plastic bottle recycling market in the coming years.