The National Assn. for PET Container Resources says 1.5 billion lb of PET plastic were recycled in 2010
The International Bottled Water Assn. (IBWA) is honoring Earth Day 2012, celebrated on April 22, by announcing increases in curbside recycling of PET plastic water bottle containers and an effort to improve the environmental footprint of the bottled water industry.
A newly released study shows that PET plastic bottled water containers are once again the single most recycled item in nationwide curbside collection programs. As of 2010, the recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers increased to 32%, more than doubling in the last six years.
The study, by the National Assn. for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), shows a welcome continuation of steady annual increases in the recycling trend for PET plastic bottled water containers.
“The bottled water industry is taking a broad-based approach to reducing its environmental footprint. All bottled water containers – whether plastic or glass – are 100% recyclable,” said Chris Hogan, vice president of communications for IBWA.
According to the Beverage Marketing Corp., over the past eight years, the gram weight of a 16.9-oz single-serve PET bottled water container has dropped by almost 33%. In addition, 3- and 5-gal plastic bottled water containers are reused between 30 and 50 times before being recycled.
Producing new products from recycled PET (rPET) uses two-thirds less energy than what is required to make products from raw virgin materials, according to NAPCOR. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
“As an industry, we [IBWA] support comprehensive water resource management that regulates both the quality and quantity of groundwater, treats all users equitably, provides for the sustainability of the resource and balances the interests and rights of those using this natural resource today and in the future," Hogan said. "Environmental stewardship is part of the bottled water industry’s history, and protecting, maintaining and preserving water resources for future generations is something we take very seriously."