PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a type of clear, durable and versatile plastic. Unlike other types of plastic, PET is not single-use. In fact, it is the most recyclable and recycled plastic in the United States. That's why America's beverage companies use it to make our beverage bottles, which are carefully designed to be 100% recyclable.
Recycled PET (rPET) is a highly sought after material. Using rPET rather than new plastic reduces environmental impact - when used to make new bottles, total energy consumption is reduced by 79% and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are limited by 67%. It can be used to make new bottles as well as many other products — winter jackets, rugs, playground equipment, dog beds and more.
Even the Encyclopedia Britannica notes how unique and valuable PET is: "PET is the most widely recycled plastic… PET can be recycled into its original uses…"
America's leading beverage companies are working to get every bottle back so we can reduce our use of new plastic and keep our bottles out of nature. We're working with leading environmental and sustainability groups - World Wildlife Fund, The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners - to increase collection of our plastic bottles so they can be remade into new bottles. That can reduce our plastic footprint and ensure our bottles don't end up in places they shouldn't, such as lakes and rivers or wasted in a landfill. And we’re tracking our progress in reducing our plastic footprint along the way.
To date, our efforts include supplying nearly 650,000 recycling bins in neighborhoods and upgrading equipment so more materials can be processed faster. We’re also providing educational materials to help residents recycle properly and advocating for modern collection policy solutions to ensure our plastic bottles become new bottles, and not end up in the environment.
And while there’s more work to be done, we're making significant progress. We're now making more plastic bottles out of 100% recycled plastic* like the ones below. In addition, the amount of recycled plastic in bottles more than doubled from 2018-2021, with the majority of beverage bottles now including recycled plastic.
Curious to learn more? Check out our video below!
For more on how the beverage industry is working to get Every Bottle Back, please click here.
*Excludes Caps & Labels