For the sixth straight year, the U.S. PET recycling rate has increased, to 28% in 2009. That’s according to the recently released “2009 Report on Post Consumer PET

Container Recycling Activity,” produced by The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), and the PET Resin Association (PETRA). The report also indicates that this year’s rate increase occurred even despite a 4% decrease in the total PET bottles and jars available for recycling, by weight.

“This steady climb in the PET recycling rate illustrates a continued commitment to recycling, and it’s something the APR will certainly continue to foster,” says Scott Saunders, APR chairman and general manager of KW Plastics Recycling. “Recycling PET bottles and reprocessing them for next-life use captures and repurposes the valuable energy resources inherent in the material. For APR membership, this exemplifies responsible, energy-efficient raw materials resource management.”

The 2009 report also details the end uses for a record 937 million pounds of recycled PET utilized in manufacturing applications, reflecting strong increases over 2008 in Sheet & Film, Food & Beverage Bottles, and Non-food Bottles end-use categories.

“It’s gratifying for NAPCOR to be able to report continued increases in the PET recycling rate, and we remain committed to working with our industry partners to meet the increased demand for recycled PET,” says Tom Busard, NAPCOR chairman and vice president, Global Procurement and Material Systems, Plastipak Packaging, Inc. “Capturing the value of recycled PET material and using that material in the manufacture of new packaging and other goods is a key element of sustainable practice.”

This is the fifth year that NAPCOR, the APR, and PETRA have partnered to produce this report and the fifteenth year that NAPCOR has issued the report in its current format. Says John Cullen, chairman of PETRA and commercial manager of DAK Americas LLC, “The PET Recycling Rate Report is an invaluable tool for the PET industry and other stakeholders; it provides an important benchmark, and its consistency over the years has served to chronicle the history of PET growth, PET recycling, and recycled PET end-use markets.”


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