The beverage industry is working to get our carefully-made, 100% recyclable bottles back to help reduce the use of new plastic. Our bottles are extremely valuable because they’re made of polyethylene terephthalate, PET, which can be used and remade into new products, like new bottles.
An annual report by the National Association for PET Container Resources, NAPCOR, found the demand for PET is increasing. In 2020, there was a 10% increase in end use demand of recycled PET with the food and beverage category as the fastest growing category, increasing 36 percent from 2019 to 2020.
ABA’s VP of Sustainability, Megan Daum, states, “America’s beverage companies are carefully designing our bottles to be 100% recyclable and we want them all back so they can be remade into new bottles, as intended. Increasing the use of post-consumer recycled material in our bottles is a top priority of our industry which is why we’re making critical investments in recycling infrastructure, like we have done with our partners at Evergreen. Public-private partnerships like these are essential in driving solutions to close the loop on our bottles and reduce the use of new plastic.”
Our industry launched Every Bottle Back with the main goal of increasing the collection of our plastic bottles, so they don’t wind up in in places they don’t belong like our oceans or rivers, or wasted in landfills. To do this, we’ve committed $14.3 million to 22 communities to help bolster recycling infrastructure. We’re proud of our work with local leaders and environmental partners, like Closed Loop Partners, The Recycling Partnership and more.
Recently, we announced a $2.5 million investment to Evergreen, a reclaimer in Clyde, Ohio, which manufacturers and produces food grade rPET. Through our investment, Evergreen is expanding its production capacity to help process more PET bottles so they can be remade into new ones. This project is estimated to yield at least 600 pounds of food-grade rPET pellets over a 10-year period.
ABA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Katherine Lugar states, “Through our partnership with Evergreen and Closed Loop Partners, this project – along with several others throughout the region and country – will help capture and process more of our valuable, 100% recyclable plastic bottles so they can be remade into new bottles. This project is another example of the power of private-public partnerships created through Every Bottle Back to build a circular economy for plastic and keep it out of the environment.”
Learn more about Every Bottle Back at www.EveryBottleBack.org.