Monday, March 2, 2009

Water Bottles Hitting the Bins

PET water bottles are now the most recycled container in curbside programs by weight and by number, according to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).

The Alexandria, Va.-based organization says the national recycling rate for PET plastic bottled water containers has improved by 16.42 percent. Citing data from two new studies, the group says the recycling of .5 liter- or 16.9 ounce-sized bottles is encouraging.

The studies, “2008 Post Consumer PET Bottle Bale Composition Analysis” and “2007 Report on PET Water Bottle Recycling,” were both produced by NAPCOR.

According to data from an earlier 2006 bale content study for all beverages, the number of PET bottles counted per pound was approximately 12. In 2008, the total number of PET bottles increased to 13.78, which NAPCOR calls “a reflection of the dramatic increase in water bottle collection.”

The 2007 NAPCOR study on water bottle recycling has determined that the recycling rate for water bottles is 23.4 percent, representing a 16.4 percent increase over the 2006 recycling rate of 20.1 percent.

With data compiled during a bale composition study in 15 locations in 14 states, the 2008 NAPCOR PET analysis concludes, “Water bottles are now the most recycled container in curbside programs by weight, and overwhelmingly by number.”

By recycling rate, however, the aluminum beverage container continues to hold a decisive edge.

PET water bottles now account for 50 percent of all the PET bottles and containers collected by curbside recycling programs, says NAPCOR. The trend was consistent in all curbside bales sampled nationally, with no major shifts observed in any other plastic container category, according to NAPCOR’s press release.

The biggest jump in water bottle collection for recycling was in California, where a state-funded consumer education campaign, emphasizing that water bottles are recyclable, seems to be having the desired effect of PET water bottles being recycled more commonly.

“Recycling rates continue to rise while bottle weight tumbles downward,” says Joe Doss, President and CEO of the International Bottled Water Association. “But this improvement, while encouraging, reminds us that more needs to be done. It is very clear that the bottled water industry is swiftly headed in the right direction.”
Friday, February 20, 2009

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