Richard Hall is chairman of Zenith International. This is a personal blog and views expressed are his own.

21 Mar 2013


US plastic bottle recycling – credit where it's due

I’ve criticised poor US recycling performance in the past, so now I’d better praise real progress.

The latest figures from the National Association for PET Container Resources show that 38.6% of single-serve plastic water bottles in the US were recycled in 2011, which is a commendable 20% increase on the 32.2% achieved in 2010, and double the rate of seven years before.

Also of significance, the average weight of a standard size 50cl PET bottle has fallen below 10g for the first time, 47.8% less than in 2000 according to Beverage Marketing Corporation.

If you can bear another statistic, PET for bottled water accounts for under 1% of all plastic produced in the US, and only a third of 1% of all US waste, reports the US Environment Protection Agency. Oh, that’s two statistics. Better be accurate. Sorry.