The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the trade association for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) industry in the US, Canada, and Mexico, has released its PET Recycling Report for financial year 2022.

The report revealed that the recycling rate of PET in North America has dropped slightly to 37.8% in 2023, compared to 38.4% in 2021.

The PET recycling rate in the US was also down to 29% during the year from 30.3% in the previous year.

NAPCOR’s data also revealed that market consumption of recycled PET (rPET) bottles was over 50% in the US and Canada in 2022.

In the US, recycled content used in bottles also increased by 15%.

The NAPCOR report suggested that PET recyclers in the US would need to collect 1.75 billion pounds of PET, which is 85% more than it collected in 2022, to achieve the rPET content goal.

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The US aims to reach 25% rPET content in all bottles by 2025 and increase this to 50% by 2030.

The association has called for the introduction of new policies, and improvement in recycling infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for post-consumer recycled content in North American end markets.

NAPCOR executive director Laura Stewart said: “There is a growing demand for recycled content from manufacturers within both the food/beverage and non-food bottle categories.

“This is continued evidence that packaging made from PET can be reused and repurposed and has a key role to play in the circular economy. Everyone involved, including manufacturers, consumers and packagers, needs to work together and make significant changes to ensure enough PET is collected and full circularity can be achieved.”

The report also showed that the use of recyclate from post-consumer PET thermoforms increased by 88% compared to 2021. 

The average post-consumer rPET content on PET thermoforms was 12% in 2022.