A report issued by three trade associations says the recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers reached 27 percent in 2008. That marks the highest rate since 1997 and an increase from the 2007 rate of 24.6 percent, says the “2008 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity.” The report is produced by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the PET Resin Association (PETRA).
More than 1.45 billion pounds of PET bottles were collected for recycling in the United States last year, the highest PET container collection volume ever recorded, the report adds.
“This healthy rate increase is a real reminder of the ongoing viability of recycling and the country's commitment to it,” said Bill O'Grady, APR chairman and vice president of Talco Plastics, in a press release. “We at APR certainly support increased recycling and end-use markets for recycled resins, and we see the increasing PET recycling rate as an encouraging trend.”
Soft drink bottlers remain the biggest user of PET resin. “Custom” bottles are used for other products, such as salad dressing, peanut butter and jellies. Custom bottles accounted for more than half of PET containers by weight in 2007. PET is also used for film, oven trays, sheeting for cups and food trays, oven trays, and other products.
This is the fourth year that NAPCOR, the APR and PETRA have partnered to produce the report and the 14th year that NAPCOR has issued the report in its current format. The complete report can be viewed at www.plasticsrecycling.org.