The global plastic waste management market size was estimated at USD 33.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to register a CAGR of 3.1% over the forecast period. Rapid industrialization, rising urbanization, and increasing concern towards the environmental impact of improper plastic waste management are anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period.
The plastic market is growing significantly owing to its unique properties and a wide range of applications. Increasing usage of plastic is also generating plastic waste, which is non-degradable and is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions that can lead to huge ecological crises. Therefore, the growing need for proper disposal management of plastic waste is anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period.
The U.S is one of the largest plastic waste generating countries. The recycling rate of plastic in the country is very less as compared to the overall plastic waste generation in the country. The U.S. exports most of its plastic waste to the countries including China, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, where it is recycled or processed for energy generation or disposed of in landfills
Plastic waste management refers to approaches and methodologies used to reprocess plastic material instead of dumping it into landfills, or waterways, or otherwise left in open to contaminate the environment. The major factor promoting plastic waste management is reduced use of virgin plastic to manufacture products.
Advanced technologies and frameworks utilized for the reprocessing, arranging, and assortment of recyclable plastics are creating new opportunities in the market for plastic waste management. Furthermore, laws and guidelines enforced by the government and related agencies across the countries for plastic waste disposal management are anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period.
The cost at which recycled plastic can be created is generally stable, while the cost of virgin plastic fluctuates based on the performance of the oil and gas industry and the demand for crude oil-based products across the end-use industries. This fluctuation in prices promotes the incentive to make long-term investments in recycling technology and infrastructure.
Based on service, the market for plastic waste management is segmented into, collection, recycling, incineration, and landfills. The recycling segment is anticipated to register the fastest growth of rate 4.9% over the forecast period owing to stringent government policies and a significant rise in infrastructure for recycling the plastic. Recycled plastic has a wide variety of usage in producing cloths, carpets, garbage bags, films, containers, and bottles.
The collection is the most important as well as complicated service. The players in the market for plastic waste management provide residential, commercial, and industrial plastic waste collection services. These services are performed under contracts ranging from one to five years or under a subscription basis wherein the customer directly contacts the service providers. Segregation of waste before processing is essential for recycling or processing to generate energy.
Incineration is the process of controlled combustion at extremely high temperatures of plastic waste which aids in waste management and in generating energy. The process is highly exothermic with the objective of safe waste management. It processes non-recyclable waste from industrial, commercial, and municipal sources.
The landfill segment is anticipated to contribute the largest share in the market for plastic waste management owing to the presence of a lesser number of incineration and recycling plants. The landfill is the primary treatment method used for waste disposal management globally. Landfills are used to dispose of all types of waste, wherein some are designed for the management of municipal solid waste while others are used for the disposal management of commercial and institutional waste.
Based on polymers, Polypropylene (PP) is anticipated to grow with the fastest CAGR of 3.7% over the forecast period owing to its outstanding properties including high chemical resistance, fatigue resistance, and weldability. Polypropylene is easily available, low cost, and can adapt numerous fabrication techniques which makes it highly suitable for household and industrial applications.
Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) was accounted for 17.8% of the overall market share in 2019 owing to its recycling ability. LDPE is extensively used to produce flexible and thin products including bags, container lids, toys, shrink-wrap and stretch film, and squeezable bottles. Furthermore, recycled LDPE is used to produce floor tile, garbage can liners, furniture, paneling, compost bins, and trashcans.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is one of the highly used polymer owing to its unique properties including good low-temperature toughness, good chemical resistance, high flexibility, and high impact resistance. The recycled HDPE is used to produce a wide range of products including trash cans, furniture, toys, recycling bins, pipes, and ropes.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) also contributes to significant revenue share in the market for plastic waste management from end-use industries including building and construction, electrical and electronics, and automotive. PVC is very strong and has a high resistance to abrasion and moisture, which makes it highly suitable for a wide range of applications including pipes, cables and wires, toys, windows, raincoats, shower curtains, and many households as well as technical products.
Based on the source, the plastic waste management market is segmented into residential, commercial, and industrial. The residential segment projected to dominate the market and anticipated to witness a significant growth of 3.4% over the forecast period on account of the increasing population and rapid urbanization.
Plastics are the vital element in day-to-day life and are extensively used in household applications. Changing lifestyle, increasing population, growing disposable income resulted in increased usage of plastics in the residential sector generating a huge amount of waste which are needed to be dealt with.
The commercial is the second-largest source of plastic waste generation. Growing commercial spaces such as malls, educational institutes, hospitals, office buildings, retail stores, hotels, and restaurants across the globe are anticipated to drive demand for plastic thereby generating a high amount of waste.
The industrial segment anticipated to expand at a CAGR of over 2.1% over the forecast period on account of rapid industrialization in the developing economies including India, China, Brazil, and Argentina. Industrial plastic waste generally consists of containers, pipes, cables, wires, packaging foams, and other industrial products.
The packaging end-use segment is anticipated to be the largest and fastest-growing segment over the forecast period. The segment accounted for 44.6% of the overall market share in 2019 owing to the increasing demand for plastics for the packaging of products to protect, preserve, transport, and display information.
The textile segment is anticipated to witness significant growth owing to the increasing usage of plastics in textile mills for templates, work surfaces, looms, tenter frames, and miscellaneous components. In addition, plastics bottle waste is used to produce polyester yarn, which is further used to produce green cloths.
The consumer product segment accounted for substantial market share in 2019 and is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 3.2% over the forecast period owing to the predominant usage of plastic in consumer products across the globe. In addition, recycled plastics are used in the consumer products industry to produce bottles, containers, trays, tubs, and lids.
The building and construction is one of the fastest-growing segment registering a CAGR of 3.3% over the forecast period owing to the rapid growth of infrastructural developments in developing economies. Furthermore, recycled plastics are used in the building and construction sector for producing roofing tiles, PVC windows, bricks, and structural lumbers.
Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the market and anticipated to witness a robust CAGR of 3.4% over the forecast period on account of rapid industrialization along with the imposition of stringent laws pertaining to plastic waste management, and disposal processes. The growth in disposable income and increasing importance of waste management in China, Japan, and India, are driving the market in the region.
North America accounted for 15.4% of overall market share in 2019 and projected to register significant growth on account of increasing awareness to curb carbon footprint resulting from increasing plastic waste. The U.S. is one of the major contributors in the region as the country exports most of its waste to other countries for recycling or disposal.
Europe is anticipated to be the second largest market for plastic waste management and is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 2.9% over the forecast period on account of numerous initiatives and stringent regulations imposed by governments on plastic waste disposal management. Germany, France, Italy, U.K., and Spain are the notable countries in the region that are driving the demand for plastic waste management in the region.
Central and South America and Middle East and Africa do not contribute to significant market share compared to other regions owing to inadequate infrastructure, improper planning, and lack of proper training and awareness. However, the key governments in the regions are focusing on initiatives for the proper management of plastic waste, which is anticipated to drive the market in these regions over the forecast period.
Major companies such as Veolia Environnement S.A., Waste Management, Inc., Suez Environnement Company, Republic Services, Inc., and Clean Harbors, Inc. have goodwill in the market, which delivers them a competitive edge over other plastic waste management service providing companies. Nonetheless, with improving government facilities and recycling machinery, the municipality is expected to be a tough competitor for the aforementioned companies.
Companies in the market, position themselves based on services offered, which includes the depth of recycling, treatment, and disposal management capabilities, ability to collect and transport plastic waste efficiently, quality of service, and pricing. Major market players are heavily focused on extending their leadership position through innovation and expansion.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., Italy, France, Spain, China, Japan, India, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, UAE
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global plastic waste management market report on the basis of service, polymer, source, end-use, and region:
Service Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Polymer Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE)
High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Source Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Building & Construction
Electrical & Electronics
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden pause to manufacturing activities across the globe, affecting the demand for plastics and also production & processing of them. The most critically impacted end-use segments of the plastics industry include automotive & transportation, consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction, and electronics. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.