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Not Bottled Up

PET recycling rate rises for sixth straight year.

The national recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers reached 28 percent in 2009, according to a recent report from the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the PET Resin Association (PETRA).

According to the report — titled "2009 Report on Post Consumer PET Container Recycling Activity" — 2009 marked the sixth straight year that the rate has increased. The recycling rate was 27 percent in 2008 and 24.6 percent in 2007.

Overall, the amount of recycled PET in food, beverage and other containers rose by 37 percent from 2008 to last year, the report says.

"This steady climb in the PET recycling rate illustrates a continued commitment to recycling, and it's something the APR will certainly continue to foster," said Scott Saunders, chairman of APR and general manager of KW Plastics Recycling, in a press release.

The report attributes the rate's rise in part to the implementation of 46 new PET collection programs throughout the country.

In 2009, the amount of PET bottles sold in the United States declined when compared with 2008, the report notes. Last year, 5.15 billion pounds of the bottles were sold; in 2008, the figure was 5.37 billion. The report pinpoints the weak economy and dietary concerns about sports drinks as two of the reasons for the decrease.

The full report is available at NAPCOR's website.

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