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  • Published In : Nov 2023
  • Code : CMI5861
  • Pages :135
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Advanced Materials

Global Plastic Regulatory Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 39.29 billion in 2023, and is expected to reach US$ 58.69 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2023 to 2030.

These regulations aim to address environmental concerns, reduce plastic waste, promote sustainable practices, and protect human health. Global plastic regulatory market encompasses various aspects including restrictions on single-use plastics, labeling requirements, recycling targets, bans on certain types of plastics, extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, and initiatives to promote the circular economy.

Plastic regulations often focus on areas such as plastic packaging, single-use plastics, recycling targets, waste management infrastructure, extended producer responsibility (EPR), and the promotion of alternative materials and technologies. These regulations may involve restrictions or bans on certain plastic products, mandatory recycling or waste reduction targets, labeling requirements, and incentives for the development and adoption of more sustainable plastic solutions.

Global Plastic Regulatory Market- Regional Insights

  • North America: Both the U.S. and Canada have implemented various plastic regulations at the state and provincial levels. Several states in the U.S., including California and New York, have banned or restricted certain single-use plastic products. There is growing interest in implementing extended producer responsibility programs to incentivize manufacturers to take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their plastic products, and this region holds a substantial percentage of the market share, accounting for approximately 40%.
  • Europe: The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of plastic regulation. The EU has introduced several measures, including the Single-Use plastics directive, the circular economy action plan, and the plastics strategy, which aim to reduce plastic waste, increase recycling rates, and promote the use of more sustainable materials. The EU's regulations have led to bans or restrictions on single-use plastic products, the implementation of extended producer responsibility schemes, and the promotion of recycled content in plastic packaging. Europe holds around 25% of the market share.
  • Asia Pacific: Countries in the Asia Pacific region are also taking steps to address plastic pollution. For example, China has banned single-use plastic bags and restricted the use of disposable plastic utensils in major cities. India has implemented a nationwide ban on certain single-use plastics, and other countries in the region, such as Thailand and Malaysia, are imposing stricter regulations on plastic waste imports and Asia Pacific accounts for approximately 20% of the market share.

Figure 1. Global Plastic Regulatory Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Global Plastic Regulatory Market- Drivers:

  • Environmental Concerns: Growing concerns about plastic pollution and its impact on the environment, particularly marine ecosystems, have been a significant driver for plastic regulatory market growth. Plastic waste has been found in oceans, rivers, and landfills, leading to negative ecological consequences. Regulatory measures are being implemented to reduce plastic waste generation, promote recycling, and encourage the use of more sustainable materials. For instance, in 2020, according to the National Institutes of Health, the unprecedented and continuous accumulation of growing plastic contaminants into any respective aquatic ecosystem by the anthropogenic sources causes direct and/or indirect interruption to ecosystem structure, functions, and consequently, services and value.
  • Public Awareness and Pressure: Increased public awareness about plastic pollution has led to demand for action and stricter regulations. Citizens and environmental organizations are advocating sustainable plastic management practices and urging governments and businesses to take responsibility for reducing plastic waste. This public pressure has played a crucial role in driving the plastic regulatory market growth.
  • Health and Safety Concerns: Plastic waste not only poses environmental risks but also potential health and safety hazards. For instance, in January 2023, according to the National Institutes of Health, plastic waste exposed to the environment creates problems, and is of significant concern for all life forms. The severity of plastic pollution exerts an adverse effect on the environment and total ecosystem. Certain plastic materials may contain toxic additives or chemicals that can leach into the environment and contaminate water sources or food chains. Plastic regulations aim to mitigate these risks by setting standards for safer plastic materials and promoting alternatives that are less harmful to human health.
  • Circular Economy Agenda: The global shift towards circular economy, which aims to minimize waste generation and maximize resource efficiency, has propelled the plastic regulatory market growth. Plastic regulations are aligned with circular economy principles by promoting the reduction, reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of plastic materials. The emphasis on creating a closed-loop system for plastics has boosted the development of regulations that encourage the use of recycled materials and support the transition to a more sustainable plastic economy.

Global Plastic Regulatory Market- Opportunities

  • Development of Innovative and Sustainable Materials: The drive for a plastics law has made it easier to manufacture and use novel, environmentally friendly materials. There is an opportunity for manufacturers to invest in research and development to create alternative materials that are biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable. These materials can help to reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste and provide more sustainable options for packaging and other plastic applications. For instance, in 2022, Environment Ministers' pledges regarding plastics, as well as the national-level visions revealed by the OECD Council at the Ministerial Level (MCM) in Austria Minimum recycled content requirements for new products, binding recycling quotas, and separate collection of plastic waste are meant to enhance the usage of recycled plastics and promote a more sustainable use of plastics. Eco-modulation and extended producer responsibility are also crucial to make plastics use more sustainably.
  • Expansion of Recycling Infrastructure: Plastic regulations often emphasize the importance of recycling and the circular economy. This presents an opportunity for investment in recycling infrastructure and technologies. Companies can explore opportunities to establish or expand recycling facilities, invest in advanced sorting and processing technologies, and develop partnerships with waste management companies to improve plastic recycling rates and increase the value of recycled plastics. For instance, in 2020, according to World economic forum, The EU established the Circular Plastics Alliance with the goal of reaching 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic on the EU market by 2025.
  • Adoption of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): Extended Producer Responsibility programs are gaining traction in plastic regulations. These programs place the responsibility for managing the end-of-life of plastic products on the manufacturers. There is an opportunity for businesses to proactively embrace EPR and take ownership of the entire lifecycle of their products. This can involve designing products for recyclability, implementing take-back programs, and investing in initiatives that promote proper disposal and recycling of their plastic products.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Plastic regulations require collaboration among various stakeholders, including government bodies, industry players, non-governmental organizations, and consumers. There is an opportunity to foster partnerships and collaborations to drive sustainable plastic management practices. This can involve working with regulators to shape effective regulations, collaborating with other businesses along the supply chain to implement sustainable practices, and engaging consumers to promote responsible plastic use and recycling. For instance, in April 2023, according to Environmental Protection Agency, The Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution, together with EPA’s National Recycling Strategy, identifies how EPA can work collaboratively with stakeholders to prevent plastic pollution and reduce, reuse, recycle, collect, and capture plastic and other waste from land-based sources.

Plastic Regulatory Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 39.29 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2022 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 5.9% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 58.69 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa:  GCC Countries, Israel,  South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Type of Regulation: Environmental Regulations, Packaging Regulations, Chemical Regulations, Recycling and Waste Management Regulations, Product Safety and Quality Regulations
  • By Application: Food Packaging Regulations, Medical Device Regulations, Automotive Regulations, Construction Regulations, Electronics Regulations, Consumer Goods Regulations
  • By Regulatory Agency: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Ministry of Environment and Climate Change(MOECC), National Health Commission (NHC), Others
  • By Type of Plastic: Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), Polystyrene (PS), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Others
Companies covered:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ministry of Environment,  Forest and Climate Change (India), National Health Commission (China), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) (Finland), Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) (Germany), National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation (KFDA) (South Korea), Ministry of Ecology and Environment (China), Environment Agency (United Kingdom), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan), Australian Government Department of Agriculture,  Water and the Environment, Health Canada, Ministry of Health (Brazil)

Growth Drivers:
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Public Awareness and Pressure
  • Health and Safety Concerns
  • Circular Economy Agenda
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Complexity and Fragmentation of Regulations
  • Economic Implications and Industry Resistance
  • Technological and Infrastructure Limitations

Global Plastic Regulatory Market- Trends

  • Increasing Stringency of Regulations: There is global trend towards the increasing stringency of plastic regulations. Governments and regulatory bodies are implementing stricter rules and standards to address the environmental impacts of plastic waste. This includes regulations on single-use plastics, plastic packaging, microplastics, and plastic waste management. The trend towards more stringent regulations is driven by growing environmental concerns and the need to shift towards a more sustainable and circular economy.
  • Emphasis on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR): Extended Producer Responsibility is growing trend in plastic regulations. EPR programs require manufacturers and producers to take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their plastic products. This includes designing products for recyclability, establishing take-back programs, and contributing to the funding of recycling and waste management systems. The adoption of EPR programs aims to incentivize manufacturers to design products with recyclability in mind and promote a circular economy approach. The Waste Framework Directive, established by the EU, mandates that member states establish EPR programs for batteries, cars, plastic packaging, and electrical and electronic equipment. 70% of the waste made of paper and cardboard in the EU might be recycled in 2020.
  • Adoption of Circular Economy Principles: The transition towards a circular economy is a significant trend in the Plastic Regulatory market. Governments and organizations are promoting circular economy principles to reduce plastic waste and increase recycling rates. This involves designing products for durability and recyclability, promoting reuse and repair initiatives, and supporting recycling and waste management infrastructure. The circular economy approach aims to keep plastics in circulation and minimize their negative environmental impacts.
  • Focus on Plastic Packaging: Plastic packaging is a specific area of focus within the plastic regulatory market. Governments and consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of plastic packaging waste. This led to the implementation of regulations targeting single-use plastic packaging, such as bans or restrictions on certain types of packaging, mandatory recycled content requirements, and the promotion of alternative packaging materials. The trend towards sustainable packaging solutions is driving innovation in packaging design and materials.

Global Plastic Regulatory Market- Restraints

  • Complexity and Fragmentation of Regulations: The plastic regulatory landscape can be complex and fragmented, with different regulations and standards varying across regions and countries. This can create challenges for businesses operating in multiple jurisdictions, as they need to navigate different requirements and comply with various regulations. The complexity of regulations can increase compliance costs and administrative burdens, particularly for smaller businesses. For instance, in 2022, as per National Development and Reform Commission, the The People's Republic of China's executive department of the State Council had comparatively few plastic regulations that were dispersed among several regulatory frameworks. The objective and purpose of regulating plastic have grown more complex in the run-up to 2022, as have the kinds of plastics addressed and the various facets of the plastic value chain. included in various policies have become increasingly comprehensive over time
  • Economic Implications and Industry Resistance: Some sectors of the plastics industry may resist or face economic implications from stricter plastic regulations. For example, manufacturers and suppliers of single-use plastic products or packaging may face challenges in adapting to regulations that aim to reduce or ban such items. The transition to more sustainable alternatives or implementing new processes can involve additional costs and adjustments to business models. This resistance can hinder the pace of change and the adoption of more sustainable practices.
  • Technological and Infrastructure Limitations: Effective plastic waste management often requires advanced technologies and infrastructure for recycling, sorting, and treatment processes. However, there may be limitations in terms of technological readiness or the availability of appropriate infrastructure, particularly in certain regions or countries. Insufficient recycling and waste management facilities can pose challenges in achieving higher recycling rates and sustainable plastic management.

Analyst view:

The global plastic regulatory market is witnessing significant changes due to growing environmental concerns around plastic pollution. Stricter norms around plastic waste management and bans on single-use plastic items present challenges for plastic producers but also opportunities for alternative materials and recycling firms. Europe has been the dominating region with the most progressive plastic regulations like the recently implemented EU single-use plastic directive which is expected to significantly curb plastic usage. However, other major economies like China and India are also ramping up enforcement of their plastic laws which will impact both local plastic companies and global firms operating in these high growth markets.

Regulators across many countries are pushing for policies favorable to sustainable alternatives like paper, bioplastics and other compostable materials. This shift provides first-mover advantages to companies investing in innovating new plant-based plastic substitutes. At the same time, recycling infrastructure build-out and advances in plastic-to-fuel technologies could open up prospects for waste management players. On the other hand, lack of harmonized standards and varying tax policies across regions may hamper standardized compliance.

Global Plastic Regulatory Market- Recent Developments

New product launches

  • Bans on Single-Use Plastics: Several countries and regions have implemented or announced plans to ban or restrict certain single-use plastic products. For example, the European Union implemented a ban on single-use plastics like plastic cutlery, straws, and plates in July 2021. Similar bans have been introduced or proposed in other countries, including Canada, India, and various states in the U.S. These regulatory actions drive the development and adoption of alternative materials and packaging solutions.
  • Plastic Packaging Innovations: Companies are introducing innovative plastic packaging solutions to address environmental concerns. This includes the development of biodegradable or compostable packaging materials, as well as the use of recycled plastics in packaging. Some companies are also exploring alternative materials such as plant-based plastics or paper-based packaging to reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programs: Many regions have implemented or expanded Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs for plastic waste management. These programs shift the responsibility of managing plastic waste to the producers and require them to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products, including collection, recycling, and proper disposal. Companies are launching new initiatives and partnerships to comply with EPR requirements and improve their plastic waste management practices. 

Acquisition and partnerships

  • Chemical Companies and Plastic Recycling: Many chemical companies have been acquiring or partnering with plastic recycling companies to expand their presence in the plastic recycling market. These partnerships aim to develop advanced recycling technologies and processes to convert plastic waste into new plastic materials or other valuable products. For example, BASF SE, a chemical company, acquired the ChemCycling, a recycling company, in 2020 to strengthen its chemical recycling capabilities.
  • Collaboration between Governments and Industry: Governments and industry players are increasingly collaborating to address plastic waste management challenges and implement effective regulations. These collaborations involve public-private partnerships, where government agencies work closely with industry stakeholders to develop and implement plastic waste reduction strategies. For instance, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy Global Commitment brings together governments, businesses, and NGOs to work towards a circular economy for plastics.
  • Partnerships for Sustainable Packaging Solutions: Companies from different sectors, such as packaging manufacturers, consumer goods companies, and retailers, are forming partnerships to develop sustainable packaging solutions. These collaborations aim to reduce plastic packaging waste, increase the use of recyclable materials, and improve packaging design for better recyclability. An example is the partnership between Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Danone to launch the NaturALL Bottle Alliance, which focuses on developing bio-based bottles made from sustainable feedstocks.

Figure 2. Global Plastic Regulatory Market Share (%), By Type of Plastic, 2023


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Top companies in Global Plastic Regulatory Market

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (India)
  • National Health Commission (China)
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
  • National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) (Finland)
  • Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) (Germany)
  • National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation (KFDA) (South Korea)
  • Ministry of Ecology and Environment (China)
  • Environment Agency (United Kingdom)
  • Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan)
  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • Health Canada
  • Ministry of Health (Brazil)

Definition: Plastic Regulatory refers to the set of laws, regulations, and policies implemented by governments and regulatory bodies to govern and control the production, use, disposal, and recycling of plastic materials. These regulations aim to address environmental concerns related to plastic pollution, promote sustainable plastic management practices, encourage the use of recycled materials, and reduce the negative impacts of plastic on ecosystems and human health.

Frequently Asked Questions

The key factors hampering the growth of the global plastic regulatory market are the complexity and fragmentation of regulations, economic implications and industry resistance, and technological and infrastructure limitations.

The major factors driving the market growth are environmental concerns, public awareness and pressure, health and safety concerns, and the circular economy agenda.

By type of plastic is the leading component segment in the market.

The major players operating in the market are U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Ministry of Environment,  Forest and Climate Change (India), National Health Commission (China), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) (Finland), Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) (Germany), National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation (KFDA) (South Korea), Ministry of Ecology and Environment (China), Environment Agency (United Kingdom), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan), Australian Government Department of Agriculture,  Water and the Environment, Health Canada, Ministry of Health (Brazil)

Based on the information provided, North America holds the largest market share in the market, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of the market is projected to be 5.9% from 2023 to 2030.

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