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PET Recycling Rate Rises in 2013 – StudyPET Recycling Rate Rises in 2013 – Study

Allan Gerlat

October 10, 2014

1 Min Read
PET Recycling Rate Rises in 2013 – Study

The recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles increased slightly in 2013, according to a new report.

Recycling of PET bottles rose to 31.2 percent in 2013 from 30.8 percent in 2012, according to the annual study by the Florence, Ky.-based National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Washington-based Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR).

Communities in the United States collected a record total of 1,798 million pounds of PET bottles in 2013, according to a news release. Also, producers of U.S. bottles used a record 475 million pounds of recycled PET content.

Total use of recycled PET in domestic markets advanced, to 1,513 million pounds in 2013 from 1,312 million pounds in 2012.

“Demand for recycled PET continues to grow, with domestic use in bottles, polyester fiber and other applications increasing year-over-year,” said Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman, chief procurement officer for Plastipak Packaging Inc. and president of Clean Tech, Plastipak’s recycling affiliate. “Limited recycled PET supply is still a barrier to growth, but PET reclaimers really boosted their operations in 2013, easily absorbing the increase in bottles collected, and pulling back material that had been exported in previous years.”

The associations also cited the industry’s ongoing challenges. Collection of PET bottles for recycling continues to lag far behind demand, underutilizing a strong domestic PET recycling structure with more than 2 billion pounds of capacity. Also, PET bale yields continue to be low.

“Despite very real challenges for PET recyclers due to limited supply and decreasing bale yields, this report shows a maturing, entrepreneurial industry that continues to innovate and find new material sources and process efficiencies,” said Scott Saunders, APR chairman and general manager, KW Plastics Recycling Division.

About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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