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Report for Middle East

The market is seeing higher demand for recycled plastic owing to its packaging applications, which is significantly contributing to the growth of the Middle East’s packaging industry. Also, there is an increased adoption of recycled plastic in construction activities. In particular, significant demand has been seen for PET over recent months.

The UAE exports most of its recycled plastics to Pakistan, India and Turkey. Its shipments amounted to 605 loads in this year’s first quarter while its recycled plastic granule exports totalled 334 loads. Fluctuations have been seen recently in the prices for recycled plastics sent from the Middle East to India and the Far East.

According to recent estimates from the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association, Saudi Arabia’s annual consumption of plastics is 95 kg per capita, making it the largest consumer of plastic products in the Gulf Cooperation Council region. Exports of recycled granules from Saudi Arabia had reached 920 loads by the end of March this year.

SABIC expects to complete its first chemical recycling plant in Europe in the fourth quarter of this year while also seeking more partners for collaboration in Asia to promote wider adoption of recycled plastics. With 70% of its ownership in the hands of energy giant Saudi Aramco, SABIC is aiming to process 1 million tonnes of plastic each year by 2030 to produce renewable polymers called Trucircle.

Recognizing the need for new solutions, the UAE government has been supportive in nurturing the launch of the first exchange for trading recycled plastics.