The U.S. recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers held steady at 29.3 per cent, while collection of postconsumer PET bottles and total recycled PET produced by U.S. reclaimers reached record levels, according to a new report.
Volume of PET bottles collected reached 1.6 billion tons, while recycled PET produced in the U.S. totaled 667 million pounds, according to the annual report by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Washington-based Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR).
“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, in a news release from the Sonoma, Calif.-based NAPCOR.
U.S. 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 report said.
The NAPCOR/APR report is available at this link.