The National Association for PET Container Resources(NAPCOR) (www.napcor.com) andThe Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers(APR) (www.plasticsrecycling.org) announce the release of the “2011 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity.” The report cites a 2011 U.S. recycling rate of 29.3% for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic containers. The total volume of postconsumer PET bottles collected was the highest measured to date at 1,604 million pounds; the total amount of RPET produced by U.S. reclaimers was also at an all-time high of 667 million pounds.
“We are pleased to see that PET collection increased
in 2011, despite some challenges,” says Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman and vice
president of global procurement and material systems for Plastipak Packaging,
Inc. “United States reclaimers purchased a record 916 million pounds of
postconsumer bottles in 2011, and 1.04 billion pounds of recycled PET went back
into new product applications. These increases happened despite the effects of
PET bottle lightweighting, which really played out this year to a greater
extent than we’ve seen to date. The incidence of lighter bottles in the stream
reflects manufacturers’ commitment to improving PET’s environmental footprint,
but means additional handling for PET recyclers in the short term in order to
produce the same weights.”
The end-use product
categories comprised in 2011’s record use of 1.04 billion pounds of recycled
PET are detailed in the report and reflect increases over 2010 in the Sheet
& Film, Food & Beverage Bottles, Strapping and Fiber end-use
categories. After two years of project work by NAPCOR, the APR and other
supporters acknowledged in the report, a recycling total for PET thermoformed
packaging-45 million pounds-is provided for the first time in the addendum.
“It’s gratifying to
see PET thermoform recycling measured for the first time this year, and we feel
the APR plays a key role here by providing Design for Recyclability guidelines
that specifically address PET thermoform labels and adhesives,” says Bill
O’Grady, APR chairman and vice president and general manager of Talco Plastics.
“We encourage all plastic packaging decision makers to review the different
Guidelines posted on the APR web site as we’re certainly pleased to see
increases in PET bottles collected and reclaimed, but we share the concern
expressed in this year’s report about the impact of increasing contamination
This is the seventh
year that NAPCOR and the APR have partnered to produce this report and the
seventeenth year that it’s been issued by NAPCOR in its current format. The
full “2011 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity” can be
found on the NAPCOR and APR web sites.