U.S. Recycled Plastics Demand to Rise 5.9 Percent Annually

U.S. demand for post-consumer recycled plastics is expected to rise 5.9 percent annually to 3.4 billion pounds in 2016, according to a new report.

The study by the Cleveland-based Freedonia Group said the gains will come from a growing emphasis on sustainability among packaging and consumer product manufacturers, advancements in processing and sorting technology, and an improved collection infrastructure that helps raise the plastic recycling rate, according to a news release.

Continued support for recycling by government also will help plastics collection, processing and demand.

However, the overall plastics recycling rate in the United States will remain relatively low, 6.5 percent of total plastic demand in 2016. The industry faces several challenges, such as minimal recycling in several major plastic markets, and strong export sales. Only 53 percent of plastic collected for recycling in the United States makes it into manufactured products in the U.S. market.

The study, Recycled Plastics, presents historical demand data as well as forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by source, resin and market.

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