According to the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), 20 years ago, almost 1,000 curbside recycling programs existed in the U.S. Today, there are more than 10,000 curbside recycling programs across the nation, and Americans recycle 33% of their waste, a rate that has almost doubled in the past 15 years. The bottled water industry has been at the forefront of this issue, using containers that are 100% recyclable and made from increasingly lighter weight plastics.
America Recycles Day was Thursday, Nov. 15. In conjunction with the event, NRC and others conducted one of the most comprehensive recycling awareness campaigns in the nation. Hundreds of events were held across the U.S. to raise awareness about the importance of recycling at home and work and buying recycled products. Participants will also be encouraged to sign a personal pledge to recycle.
PET Containers Among Most Recycled
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage containers are among the most-recycled packaged products in the U.S. In 2006, 1.272 billion lb of PET bottles were collected, the highest PET container collection recorded and a 9% increase over 2005, according to a recent report by the National Association for PET Container Resources and Association of Post-consumer Plastic Recyclers.
Recycled bottled water containers are highly valuable as raw materials for a variety of consumer and industrial products, including furniture, carpeting, fleece jackets and notebooks.
Americans Encouraged to Take Recycling Pledge
As the America Recycles Day slogan says, "It all comes back to you." Even a small shift in attitudes and actions can make a big difference. IBWA encourages Americans to take the following pledge:
• Find out what materials you can and cannot recycle in your community,
• Lead by example in your neighborhood by recycling,
• Recycle bottled water and other plastic containers,
• Recycle batteries, cell phones and other electronic waste at an e-waste facility nearby,
• E-mail your elected officials to ask them to increase funding for your community's recycling programs, and
• Tell five friends that recycling is the easiest thing they can do to improve the environment and slow global warming.
To learn more about America Recycles Day and to sign the pledge, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.