The U.S. PET bottle recovery rate made a notable jump, reaching 28.6%, according to an industry report published Dec. 14. The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) said the U.S. PET bottle recovery rate for 2021 was up 1.5 percentage points from 2020, with a notable rebound in bottles redeemed through deposit programs in 2021. The increase marks the end of a years-long slide in the country’s PET bottle recovery rate, which had been falling since 2017.

The report also found a continuation of shifting end markets. Historically, the largest end use for U.S. and Canadian RPET has been fiber for use in textiles. But that changed in 2020, when bottles (both food/beverage and non-food/beverage combined) surpassed polyester fiber as the largest single end market. Bottles continued to outpace fiber in 2021.

This article appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of Plastics Recycling Update. Subscribe today for access to all print content.