Metal recycling can be closely linked to the recovery and processing of scrap metals after the end of the product and structure lifecycle to be presented as a raw material in the production of new goods. In recent years, the rapid industrialization and urbanization, especially from the developing economies have created a need for more metal ores. Therefore, the manufacturers in the metals and minerals industry are facing issues in meeting these rapidly rising demands due to depleting natural resources and growing restrictions on mining activities.
These manufacturers are focusing on adopting various technologies that can enable them to recycle and reuse scrap metals, which is adding to the growth of the market. However, the increasing environmental concerns and demand for energy conservation globally have resulted in the growing use of eco-friendly materials, such as starch-based biomaterials and plant-based biomaterials in the packaging, and food & beverages industry, therefore, hampering the growth of the global metal recycling market.
Steel retains an extremely high overall recycling rate globally, therefore driving the ferrous segment. As per the EPA, the recycling rate for steel cans was 70.9% in 2018. The high recycling rate of the metal can be attributed to the properties of steel allowing it to be smelted over and over. Besides, steel scraps are used to make a new steel product, which, not only enables the manufacturers to meet the growing demand for new steel but also helps in reducing the CO2 emission levels.
According to the EPA, steel manufactured from every ton of scrap steel can reduce CO2 emissions by 1.5 times, which is another factor compelling the manufacturers in the industrial metal recycling technology in their facilities. Additionally, the rising geopolitical tension, such as the trade war has obligated the governmental agencies and industrialists in the U.S. and European Union to decrease their dependency on metals imports from other economies like China and India. This is further driving the metal recycling industry of the regional markets.
The non-ferrous segment is anticipated to be the largest and the fastest-growing segment in the global metal recycling market during the forecast period. This growth of the segment can be primarily contributed to the unique physical properties of aluminum, allowing it to fit every desired recycling and processing route. Aluminum has the highest recycling rate in comparison to all the other metals present in the non-ferrous segment. As per the Aluminum Association, Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Aluminum is 100% recyclable and retains its properties indefinitely.
This characteristic of aluminum has made it the material of choice for recycling in various end-use industries, especially food and beverage containers and packaging. Although the recyclability rate of steel is more as compared to aluminum, aluminum's characteristics, such as lower emissions, higher efficiency, lightweight, and easy transportability give it the upper hand. Thus, creating a demand for more recycled aluminum across the market.
The food and beverages segment held the largest market share of the global metal recycling market in 2019 and is anticipated to follow the same trend during the review period. This drift in the market is driven by the seismic shift in the consumer preference towards sustainability, which is compelling the manufacturers engaged in the industry to adopt environmentally friendly and cost-driven solutions that can meet the changing consumer behavior.
Since metal like steel and aluminum can be easily recycled and bring down the emission levels, a large number of manufacturers are using them for packaging beverage cans. As per the Aluminum association, in 2018, the total recycling rate of aluminum containers and packaging, which includes beverage containers, food containers, foil, and another aluminum packaging, was 34.9%. Within this number, the most recycled category of aluminum was beer and soft drink cans, at 50.4%.
Asia-Pacific market dominated the global metal recycling market in 2019 and is expected to be the fastest-growing region during the forecast period. The metal recycling market in Asia-pacific is primarily driven by increasing demand for metals like iron, steel, and aluminum due to rapid industrialization and urbanization across the developing markets of China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Also, the region is home to two of the most dynamic and populated economies in the world–China and India. They have continuously witnessed a growth in their population rate, thus making Asia the region with the highest number of births in the world.
This increase in the population across the regional market has further created a need for more residential and commercial buildings across the market and consequently added to the demand for metals for the construction of these buildings. Moreover, the improving lifestyle and growing industrialization have added to the demand for both ferrous and non-ferrous metals from end-use industries like automotive, packaging, and food & beverages in recent years. As per the World Steel Association, steel demand in the Asia and Pacific region should grow by 1.3% in 2019.
Although the region is the largest producer of most of the metal ores and maintains an adequate supply and demand of the raw materials, the growing demand for the metal from various end-use industries and depleting natural resources have compelled the manufacturers and the governmental organization to adopt metal recycling. Therefore, adding to the growth of the market.
As the new energy conservation and sustainability trends are rising across the markets a large number of industrialists engaged in the metals and minerals business are focusing on incorporating cutting-edge technologies in their manufacturing facilities that can enable them to bring down the operation and production cost.
These players are focusing on increasing the recyclability rate in their manufacturing facilities. This trend across the industry has resulted in an increased number of mergers and acquisitions in the industry. This is also considered as the key business growth strategy adopted by these players to create viable business growth by penetrating the existing and untapped markets across the globe.
Central and South America and the Caribbean
The Middle East