PET plastic containers recycling rate increases in last seven years: Study

21 February 2013 (Last Updated February 21st, 2013 18:30)

The recycling rate, which now stands at almost 39% for single-serve PET plastic bottled water containers, has more than doubled in the last seven years, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).

Plastic bottle

The recycling rate, which now stands at almost 39% for single-serve PET plastic bottled water containers, has more than doubled in the last seven years, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).

The Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) has revealed that the average weight of a 16.9oz (half-litre) single-serve PET plastic bottled water container has fallen by almost 47.8% to 9.9g over the last eleven years.

Based on a January 2013 internal NAPCOR study, the national recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers rose to 38.6% in 2011, representing an increase of nearly 20% compared to 32.25% in 2010.

NAPCOR noted that there were about 1.3 billion pounds of PET plastic water bottle containers available for recycling in the US in 2011, of which 500 million pounds was recovered for recycling.

BMC also released data on 31 January 2013 that the average weight of a 16.9oz PET plastic bottled water container has declined 47.8% between 2000 and 2011, which has resulted in a savings of 3.3 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000.

The considerable rise in the recycling rate of PET plastic bottled water containers, in combination with the decrease in container weight, highlights the steady drive of the bottled water industry to enhance recycling programmes and cut down its overall environmental footprint.

All bottled water containers are claimed to be 100% recyclable, and of all the plastics produced in the US, PET plastic bottled water packaging makes up only 0.92%.

PET plastic bottled water containers are said to be the most frequently recycled PET beverage container in curbside recycling programmes.

BMC is a beverage-related consulting, data, and financial services provider, and NAPCOR is a trade organisation for the North American PET plastics industry.


Image: In 2011, the national recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers increased to 38.6%. Photo: Toa55