A recent report by Avendus Capital titled “Circular Economy: Recycling Waste To Wealth” sheds light on the promising future of the plastics, e-waste, and battery recycling sectors. According to the report, these industries are projected to reach a combined value of approximately $20 billion by the year 2030.
The concept of a “circular economy” takes center stage in the report, advocating for a regenerative system that challenges the notion of “end-of-life” for materials. By reshaping consumption and manufacturing processes, the circular economy approach aims to create a sustainable and environmentally conscious framework.
Koushik Bhattacharyya, Managing Director and Head of Industrials Investment Banking at Avendus Capital, emphasizes the rising focus on sustainability and regulatory measures that are driving the recycling sector towards an inflection point. He states, “Businesses are realizing that being sustainable is the right thing to do, and it also improves their perceived value among all stakeholders, with customers increasingly choosing brands based on their sustainability credentials and investors doubling down on their ESG mandates.”
Examining the e-waste market in India, the report reveals that globally, around 59 million metric tons of e-waste is predicted to be generated in 2022, with a mere 18 percent being recycled. In India alone, it is estimated that 5.8 million metric tons of e-waste were generated in FY23, with the organized sector managing to process 15 percent of it. However, accurately quantifying e-waste remains a challenge due to the practice of reconditioning and reselling electronics and appliances before they are ultimately discarded.
The report highlights that the e-waste recycling business is expected to grow by an impressive 23 percent, reaching USD 7.5 billion by 2030.
Additionally, the battery recycling market is poised for significant growth, projected to reach approximately $2 billion by 2030. Batteries play a vital role in electric vehicles (EVs), accounting for a substantial portion, around 30-50 percent, of their cost. This growth is driven by the increasing adoption of EVs and the demand for sustainable battery disposal methods.
Ashish Ahuja, Vice President of Industrials Investment Banking at Avendus Capital, points out that India’s plastic waste recycling industry is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 percent, reaching USD 10.2 billion by FY30. Factors driving this growth include the rising use of recyclable plastics, exponential demand in e-commerce and quick commerce packaging, as well as the trend towards lightweighting of products.
When it comes to plastic recycling in India, the report reveals that the country generates an estimated 13 million metric tons of plastic waste, with 60 percent of it being recycled. However, a significant portion of plastic waste still finds its way to landfills or is incinerated. In FY23, the Indian plastic waste recycling industry was valued at $2.3 billion and is expected to maintain a CAGR of 24 percent, reaching $10.2 billion by FY30.
Overall, the Avendus Capital report highlights the immense potential and market opportunities within the recycling sectors of plastics, e-waste, and battery recycling. With a growing emphasis on sustainability and the adoption of circular economy principles, these industries are poised for substantial growth, aligning economic development with environmental conservation.