Water bottle recycling rate jumps

Water bottle recycling rate jumps

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

The recycling rate for single-serve PET bottled water containers has jumped, according to the International Bottled Water Association, citing data from an internal study commissioned by the National Association for PET Container Resources and the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

According to data from NAPCOR, the recycling rate for single-serve plastic bottled water containers rose to nearly 39 percent in 2011 (the most recent available data), an increase over the previous year's rate of 32 percent. In the internal study, NAPCOR states that in 2011 there were approximately 1.3 billion pounds of PET plastic water bottles available for recycling in the U.S., of which 500 million pounds were reclaimed for recycling.

Kate Eagles, spokesperson for NAPCOR, says that report uses some proprietary data that can't be made public. The report, says Eagles, relied on sales channel data from the IBWA. She also says that for the last several years, NAPCOR has done a bale composition analysis that examines representative bales from collectors and what sort of bottles comprised those bales. A breakdown of data by state is unavailable, however.

Additionally, data from the BMC shows that between 2000 and 2011, the average weight of a 16.9-ounce (half-liter) PET plastic bottled water container declined 47.8 percent. This has resulted in a savings of 3.3 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000. The BMC did not provide Plastics Recycling Update with a report containing the data.

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