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Plastic companies step up their recycling game in Mexico

Mexico is now the world’s second largest consumer of PET bottles.

Driven by high consumption of soft drinks and bottled water, averaging two bottles per person per day, Mexico is now the world’s second largest consumer of PET bottles.  The rising use of plastic packaging and increased awareness of sustainability and environmental waste has made Mexico a leading country in PET recycling, with 52% of the plastic bottles being recycled.

There has been an increased demand for plastics in Mexico, with the sector gaining the second largest share of the packaging industry in the country, behind paper & board. The plastic packaging sector rose from a 25.1% market share in 2010 to 27.7% in 2012. This growth has mainly been driven by use in food and beverage products but also an increasing use in health & beauty and household care industries.

According to Joanne Hardman, analyst at Canadean (, “the rising use of plastic packaging has led to environmental and sustainability concerns, which have posed a significant threat to the sector. To combat this, manufacturers should act as innovators in recycling and highlight the environmentally-friendly quality of their products.” Several campaigns regarding the environmental impact of plastics indicate high consumer knowledge and sensitivity towards eco-friendly materials, such as oxo bio-degradable plastics. With this in mind, Coca-Cola has introduced a 100% recyclable plastic bottle, made from 30% plant-based materials.

 Mexico currently has limited packaging regulations; however the increased use of rigid plastic bottles, which will grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 3.3% from 2012 to 2017, will create a greater need for investment in plastic recycling centers.  

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