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Manufacturers are Under Pressure to Create a Circular Economy for All Plastics and Use Alternative Materials Whenever Possible
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People are becoming more aware of plastic pollution, and consumers and manufacturers are seeking ways to reduce their contribution to the problem. Using less plastic, improving recycling rates, using more biodegradable plastics, and moving toward a circular economy for plastics are all potential solutions. The goal of this report is to present in great detail several options to improve the sustainability of plastics, and determine to what degree each option will be integrated into the market through the forecast period. For example, alternatives to plastic are discussed and segmented into specific applications. The environmental impact of paper or metal straws, cloth bags, paper cups, and other plastic alternatives are discussed, and the most environmentally friendly options are highlighted for each application.In-depth primary and secondary research is the foundation of this report. Companies all along the supply chain were consulted to gain a thorough overview of the sustainable plastics market. This research also builds off of years of research done at Frost & Sullivan in terms of understanding how the thermoplastics industry is being affected by growing concerns over the environmental impact of plastics.Market information and forecasts for the thermoplastics, recycled thermoplastics, and bioplastics markets are given for 2017 to 2026. These markets are broken down by region, type of plastic, and industry. The market drivers and restraints for each forecast are discussed to provide additional context. Key manufacturers in each of these markets are also discussed. The prospects of the recycled plastics and bioplastics are dependent on the type of plastic, so more information is provided about the differences. HDPE and PET, for example, are large parts of the recycled plastics market, while the recycled polystyrene market is much smaller. Reasons for this are discussed, and innovations that can improve recycling rates of polystyrene are included.The effects of regulations and recent regulatory enforcement are also discussed. Countries have different policies on plastics. Plastic bags have been banned in many locations, and bans on other single-use plastics are being endorsed and ratified. Additional governmental policies, such as the recent changes in China’s policies on scrap plastic imports, are also examined. These regulations affect the growth of the plastics market in general as well as how quickly plastics become more environmentally friendly. Ten growth opportunities for plastic manufacturers are also provided. These incorporate the expected forecasts and how manufacturers can best leverage the changes in the plastics market. The opportunities include the development or increased use of new technologies, new collection methods, increasing the use of specific sources of plastic waste, and certain business strategies. By implementing these strategies, manufacturers and processors of plastic waste can capture more of the sustainable plastics market as it quickly grows in the next decade.
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