Recycled glass market is expected to witness significant growth globally over the projected period on account of various factors such as reduced emissions, energy-saving, and increasing lifespan of furnaces. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled numerous times without any loss in purity or quality. Also, recycled glass can be substituted for 95% of raw materials in the glass manufacturing process.
In the building & construction industry, recycled glass granules are used as aggregates alongside gravel and sand products for the production of concrete. The addition of glass granules increases the thermal stability and long-term strength of the concrete. Besides, crushed glass is used as aggregate in asphalt, which is named as “Glassphalt”. This product finds application in road construction, wherein it increases stability and heat retention properties and decreases frost penetration. According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), crushed glass is permitted to a maximum of 5%-20% of the total aggregate depending on the base such as bitumen and road base. Also, recycled glass is used as composite glass worktops, glass splashbacks, and glass tiles in commercial and residential buildings.
Recycled glass is used in decorative concrete for aesthetic enhancement of building structures while still serving as an integral part of buildings such as walls, floors, and driveways. For instance, Blazes Concrete Impressions uses colored glass aggregates for concrete countertop and floor construction. According to a study by the International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering Research, the optimum dosage of glass aggregate to be used in decorative concrete is 6% to 10%. The burgeoning building and construction industry coupled with various applications of recycled glass in the construction sector is expected to fuel the market growth over the projected period.
Crushed glass is expected to be used as an alternative to silica sand in the water filtration process. Crushed glass, when used instead of sand for filtration, provides improved water treatment efficiency, low cost, and lower backwash rates. Also, the product has a superior lifespan, which substantially reduces the filter replacement rate, thereby reducing the cost. The growing need for potable drinking water coupled with increasing consumer preference for recyclable products is expected to propel the growth of the filter market, thereby boosting the utilization of recycled glass in the sector.
The recycling process involves melting the cullets in the furnace and molding them to achieve the desired product. The challenge in the recycling process is the segregation of glass products since different types of glass differ in color and have different melting points. Hence, it is a costly and highly labor-intensive process. Glass countertop is not a DIY project and it must be installed by authorized professionals, which increases the project cost. High cost and installation charges of this product are anticipated to slow down the market over the forecast period.
Based on the application, the market can be segmented into containers, fiberglass, highway bead, glass abrasives, and others. The other applications include fillers, specialty glass, and plastics. Containers segment is expected to hold a high market share on account of increasing utilization of recycled glass for manufacturing bottles and containers.
On the basis of product type, the market can be segmented into cullet and powders. Cullet is anticipated to hold a significant market share over the forecast period owing to its usage in recycling. Cullet is crushed glass, which is separated based on color and then processed to remove impurities present in the recycling process. The industry can be further segmented based on sources into buyback centers and curbside pickups.
In 2019, Europe held the highest market share in terms of recycling rate owing to supportive government schemes and numerous buyback centers. According to the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE), the average recycling rate in Europe for glass packaging is 73%. Approximately 12 million tons of glass container bottles and jars have been recycled in a bottle to bottle loop in the European countries as of 2019. The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) in Europe sets targets for recycling companies, conducts mandatory audits, bans disposal of glass products as landfills, and provides technical guidance as per the necessity.
Some of the key players in the global recycled glass market are Strategic Materials, Inc., United Resource Management, ACE Glass Recycling, Gallo Glass California Pure Company, BALCONES RESOURCES, Ripple Glass, 2M Ressources, Momentum Recycling, LLC, Cap Glass, GLASS RECYCLED SURFACES, Dlubak Glass Company, Harsco Corporation, and others.
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The global construction industry once booming due to the residential and commercial construction in China and the U.S., has been affected by the suspension of the construction activities across the impacted economies. The construction industry in the U.S. is expected to take a major hit due to labor shortages and the lockdown imposed by the government during COVID-19, which is expected to be aggravated by the resulting supply chain issues and financing pressures due to the non-adherence to the completion times. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.