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PET water bottle recycling rate jumps almost 20 percent

By: WASTE & RECYCLING NEWS

February 20, 2013

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- The recycling rate of single-serve PET water bottles jumped 19.7 percent in just one year, the International Bottled Water Association reported this afternoon.

Citing new data from the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), the association reported that 38.6 percent of plastic water bottles were recycled in the United States in 2011 -- an almost 20 percent jump from the 2010 rate of 32.25 percent and more than double the plastic water bottle recycling rate of seven years ago.

NAPCOR data shows that 500 million pounds of plastic water bottles were recycled in 2011 out of the 1.3 billion pounds available for recycling, according to an IBWA news release.

In addition to the recycling stats, the IBWA cited data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation that reveals that since 2000 the average amount of PET used in a standard size (16.9-ounce) water bottle has dropped 47.8 percent to 9.9 grams.

"The bottled water industry utilizes a variety of measures to reduce our environmental footprint," Chris Hogan, IBWA's vice president of communications, said in a statement. "All bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable. And, when you do the math, it turns out that of all the plastics produced in the U.S., PET plastic bottled water packaging makes up only 0.92 percent; less than one percent. Moreover, plastic bottled water containers make up only one-third of one percent of the U.S. waste stream, according to the EPA."

Alexandria-based IBWA represents the bottled water industry's bottlers, distributors and suppliers, and their interests.