The recycling and treatment of plastic waste become an increasingly serious environmental degradation challenge. To promote the recycling of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), it is essential to estimate the scale of total plastic materials. This paper mainly contributes to a long-term estimation of overall plastic materials from ELVs in China. It focused on the estimation of the plastic materials from ELVs up to year of 2030, and a scenario analysis considering the recycling rate standard and light-weighting technology was performed. The results show that the total ELVs in 2030 will reach 28.54 million, which is 2.7 times the total in 2020. Under the scenario with a high standard of recycling rate (over 90%) and an exponentially growing share of plastic contents in passenger cars, the total plastic materials may reach 4.88 mt (approximately 35.70–36.56 billion yuan) in 2030. The paper provides important insights to vehicle producers by suggesting deploying more plastic materials, especially the re-use of recycled plastics, in the design and production of new products; as well as to recycling policymakers by suggesting enhancing the regulation of vehicle recycling to ensure the potential supply of all recyclable materials from ELVs including plastics.
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