The global recycled ocean plastics market size was valued at USD 1.55 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% from 2022 to 2030. The collection and recycling of ocean plastic debris are quickly expanding across the world, as numerous non-profit groups and government agencies develop and scale up the technology to clear the seas of plastic. This factor is expected to contribute to the growth of the industry in the forthcoming years.
The U.S. plastic waste generation has increased significantly to forty-two million metric tons of plastic waste a year, which amounts to 130 kg of waste for every person. This is more than the amount of waste produced by all European Union member countries combined. Also, the U.S. produces two to eight times more municipal waste than similar countries around the world. Recycling capacity is not on par with a huge increase in plastic waste in America.
Also, the ban on imports of plastic waste by countries like China and Indonesia increased the plastic waste in the U.S. Dumping, littering, and improper waste disposal in landfills have resulted in 2.2m tons of plastic including packaging, plastic bottles, and straws that leak into the environment each year. The total waste can be even higher because of the lack of data and inefficient tracking of plastic waste. Most of this plastic waste finds its way into the world’s oceans through streams and rivers.
According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) research, plastic accounts for 85% of all marine trash. By 2040, 23-37 million metric tons of garbage will be introduced to the ocean each year, tripling the quantity of plastic waste in the oceans. As a result, all marine species, from plankton and shellfish to birds, turtles, and mammals, are at risk of toxicity, asphyxia, behavioral disruption, and hunger.
The human population is also vulnerable as plastics enter the human body through water, seafood, and even common salt. They are inhaled and also penetrate the skin when suspended in the air. In water sources, this type of pollution can cause hormonal changes, abnormalities, developmental disorders, and even cancer. Plastic pollution also has significant consequences for the global economy. It can also lead to a rise in illegal international and domestic waste disposal. Annually an estimated eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the sea, which will result in more plastic waste in the oceans than fish by 2050.
The Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) segment held the largest revenue share in 2021 and is estimated to maintain its dominance during the forecast period, as it is widely used in the packaging of bottled water carbonated soft drinks, fruit juices, and dilutable drinks. PET is the most recyclable plastic in the world. PET is the world's most recyclable plastic.
PET is critical as it is commonly used for packaging and can have a substantial influence on the economy's and the environment's sustainability. Light causes polyethylene Terephthalate PET plastics to break down further into tiny fragments over time. These pieces are hazardous to marine species, causing fish and other animals to get unwell. When these fish are captured and consumed, our bodies absorb all of the concentrated toxins contained in the plastics.
Polyethylene is the most common plastic in the world and is classified into two types namely high-density polyethylene, and low-density polyethylene. High-Density Polyethylene is resistant to chemicals and moisture and is used to make cartons, pipes, containers, and construction materials. Polyethylene is used in packaging daily life items like cereal box liners, milk cartons, buckets, detergent bottles, toys, rigid pipes, and park benches. Because of the wide use of polyethylene in daily life items, it is the second most plastic waste material found in the oceans.
The macroplastics segment accounted for the largest revenue share of 48% in 2021. Microplastics are one of the main sources of marine plastic pollution and have direct negative effects on human livelihood and ecosystem health. Earlier macroplastic field observations used to be done using simple methods, such as visual counting or net sampling.
But now drones are used to detect plastic waste in complex geographies and unsafe areas, such as mangrove forests and river mouths. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and (multispectral) camera imagers, automated monitoring can be done. Remote sensing imagery is used in the most remote places to detect plastic debris.
Microplastics are fragments of plastic that are less than 5 mm in size. These enter environment from a variety of sources, including food packaging, clothing, and industrial processes. Microplastics are classified into primary microplastics and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics include plastic fragments or particles that are already 5.0 mm in size or less before entering the environment and consist of microbeads, microfibers from clothing, and plastic pellets.
Secondary microplastics are formed by the breakdown of macro plastics through weathering after entering the environment and include soda and water bottles, plastic bags, and fishing nets. Thirty-five percent of all microplastics in oceans come from textiles, mainly due to the erosion of acrylic, polyester, or nylon-based clothing during the washing process. Microplastics also accumulate in the terrestrial and air ecosystems.
Plastic bottles accounted for 43.8% of the revenue share in 2021 since more than 35 billion bottles are discarded in the ocean each year. Our coastlines and waterways are littered with plastic bottles and lids. Despite being recyclable, far too many winds up in landfills or the seas. In the sea, they float on the surface or break up into small pieces. Seabirds will mistake bottles or their lids for food, and animals of all sizes will accidentally eat the plastic pieces.
Plastic bags are one of the worst killers of sea creatures. They can readily escape and float over great distances in air and water. Small creatures, gulls, and even turtles become entangled and drown as a result. Turtles mistake them for jellyfish, their favorite meal. Once consumed, these soft plastics plug into their stomachs, causing them to starve. According to new studies, plastics like these even smell like food to turtles. Plastic resins present in the water trap bacteria and algae, causing them to emit food-like odors, a process known as biofouling.
The apparel segment accounted for the largest revenue share of 41.6% in 2021, as a large number of companies are developing Resin from ocean plastics. For instance, In October 2020, The Ocean Cleanup launched the first Resin The Ocean Cleanup sunglasses. These sunglasses were made from plastic collected from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, designed in California by Yves Béhar, and made in Italy by Safilo.
Footwear was the fastest growing segment in 2021, as a large number of companies started manufacturing shoes from ocean plastics. Such as Rens, Roscomar, Rothy's, Timberland, Allbirds, Ocean Refresh, Suavs, Vionic, TropicFeel, and Giesswein. In 2019, Finnish athleisure brand, Rens started making sneakers from recycled plastic and coffee waste. The material features AquaScreen Tech which allows air to pass through without letting water in to keep the shoes free of bacteria and odor with a drying ability 200% quicker than standard sneakers.
The Asia Pacific region dominated the recycled ocean plastics market and accounted for more than 44.3% share of the global revenue in 2021. The region is projected to witness significant growth in the forthcoming years owing to the increasing investment by government and non-profit organizations in the recycling sector.
Asia Pacific region is responsible for over 80% of all global plastic waste emitted to the ocean. This is a result of waste mismanagement, and lack of waste collection and processing in many countries across the region. Recycling makes up a small percentage of waste disposal methods used, while open dumps are the widely used practice in Southeast Asia.
Rivers are a major source of ocean plastic waste, and South and Southeast Asian rivers are the largest contributors to ocean plastics worldwide. River Pasig in the Philippines accounts for over six percent of this debris. In 2019, the Philippines was the largest source of ocean plastics in the region with 36.38% of the global marine plastic pollution. India followed, contributing approximately 13% to ocean plastic waste worldwide.
European Commission considers plastic waste management as one of the seven areas to achieve a circular economy by 2050. Besides the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, which would phase out the use of microplastics, the Commission is expected to come up with more proposals to address plastic waste, including microplastics.
On March 27, 2019, the European Union adopted rules to regulate lost fishing gear and the ten most widely used single-use plastic Resins in Europe which account for seventy percent of marine litter. These new rules were also approved by the Council in May 2019.
The market for recycled plastics is still in the early stages of development mainly with governments and NGOs involved in recycling ocean plastic. Competition between companies is completely based on the product quality offered and the latest technology & innovation implemented in the production of recycled plastics.
Collaboration and technological development are the major strategies adopted by companies. For example, on May 31, 2021, Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to turn marine plastic into sportswear. It uses recycled plastic bottles as a replacement for virgin polyester. Under these initiatives, they will make 1 million shoes from recycled plastic from the oceans. Some prominent companies in the global recycled ocean plastics market include:
Ocean Plastic Technologies
The Ocean Cleanup
Tide Ocean SA
Market size value in 2022
USD 1.65 billion
Revenue forecast in 2030
USD 2.91 billion
CAGR of 7.4% from 2022 to 2030
Base year for estimation
2019 - 2020
2022 - 2030
Volume in kilotons, revenue in USD million, and CAGR from 2022 to 2030
Volume forecast, revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Resin, dimension, source, application, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; Canada; Germany; U.K.; Italy; Spain; Denmark; Switzerland; China; India; Japan; Indonesia; Vietnam
Key companies profiled
Ocean Plastic Technologies; The Ocean Cleanup; Oceanworks; OCEANPLASTIK SRO; Textil Santanderina; SEAQUAL INITIATIVE; Waterhaul; BIONIC; Bureo; Aquafil S.p.A.; Tide Ocean SA; PLASTIX; POPSICASE; Parley; Econyl
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This report forecasts volume revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2019 to 2030. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global recycled ocean plastics market report based on resin, dimension, source, application, and region:
Resin Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2030)
High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
Dimension Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2030)
Microplastics (0.05 - 0.5 cm)
Mesoplastics (0.5 - 5 cm)
Macroplastics (5 - 50 cm)
Megaplastics (anything Above 50 cm)
Source Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2030)
Straws & Stirrers
Plastic beverage holder (six rings)
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2030)
Bags & Luggage
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2019 - 2030)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. Key factors driving the recycled ocean plastics market growth include growing demand for recycled ocean products such as sunglasses and shoes and increasing investment in the recycling of plastics across developed economies.
b. The global recycled ocean plastics market size was estimated at USD 1.55 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 1.65 billion in 2022.
b. The global recycled ocean plastics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4% from 2022 to 2030 to reach USD 2.91 billion by 2030.
b. The Asia Pacific dominated the recycled ocean plastics market with a share of 44.4% in 2021. The increasing government spending on the recycling of plastics has been one of the major trends impacting the market in North America.
b. Some of the key players operating in the recycled ocean plastics market include Ocean Plastic Technologies, The Ocean Cleanup, Oceanworks, OCEANPLASTIK SRO, Textil Santanderina, Seaqual Initiative, and Waterhaul.
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