Recent recycling data shows that PET packaging continues to be one of the most recycled types of plastic on the market today, especially when it comes to consumer products. While advances in the manufacturing of PET by packaging companies are making it lighter and less wasteful, the percentage of bottles being recycled continues to rise, giving this material considerable staying power when it comes to sustainable manufacturing.
PET Packaging and Water: H2-Whoa
In 2010, about 32 percent of all PET water bottles were recycled. According to recently released data from the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), in 2011, that number jumped up to 39 percent—a 20 percent increase. About 500 million pounds of PET plastic was recycled, and that’s just from water bottles. Consider also that packaging companies are finding ways to make PET packaging thinner and lighter all the time—recent data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation shows that the average weight of a half-liter PET water bottle went down more than 45 percent between 2000 and 2011. That adds up to billions of pounds of PET saved, making this one seriously sustainable substrate. 1
Amount of Recycled PET Packaging Growing Every Year
Water bottles aren’t the only thing that’s making PET packaging reclamation thrive—other packages made from this material are also being recycled in ever-growing numbers, including plastic thermoforms. In fact, PET is one of the most-recycled types of plastic in general. According to NAPCOR, for example, between 2001 and 2011, the number of PET bottles collected for recycling in the U.S. increased by more than 92 percent.
PET packaging isn’t just good for the environment, though. It’s a favorite of packaging companies for a wide range of packaging types, because it boasts a unique combination of advantages over other types of plastic. PET is strong, hygienic, and in the hands of a skilled manufacturer, crystal clear. It can be made in a range of thicknesses, so everything from a lightweight water bottle to a heavy duty package can be made from this material.
With the wide range of benefits that PET packaging provides for the environment, the consumer and the manufacturer, it’s no wonder that the use and sustainability of the material grows every year. How do you encourage PET recycling for your product’s packaging?