Executive Briefings

Record Amounts of Plastic Packaging Collected and Recycled in 2011, Report Finds

The total number of U.S. polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic containers and bottles collected and recycled in 2011 is a record, according to a report from the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR).

The total volume of post-consumer PET bottles collected amounted to 1,604 million pounds; the total amount of recycled PET produced by U.S. reclaimers was 667 million pounds. These and other findings are contained in the "2011 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity."

"We are pleased to see that PET collection increased in 2011, despite some challenges," said 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 post-consumer 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, 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.

Source: National Association for PET Container Resources

The total volume of post-consumer PET bottles collected amounted to 1,604 million pounds; the total amount of recycled PET produced by U.S. reclaimers was 667 million pounds. These and other findings are contained in the "2011 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity."

"We are pleased to see that PET collection increased in 2011, despite some challenges," said 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 post-consumer 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, 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.

Source: National Association for PET Container Resources