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U.S. Plastics Recyclers Reach Record Volume in 2010


The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) recently released its recycling data for PET bottles for 2010, and after staying flat for two years, the volume of PET bottles recycled in the United States increased by 113 million pounds last year, which brought the recycling rate close to 30 percent for the first time since 1996.

Last year, the amount of recycled PET used in manufacturing increased by 7 percent and broke the 1-billion pound level for the first time, at 1.002 billion pounds. That’s nearly 43 percent more recycled PET than was used in manufacturing in 2001. In addition, the 2010 rate was up from a low of 19.6 percent in 2003, and is only 2.6 percentage points lower than the current high of 31.7 percent rate recorded back 1996. 

Located in Sonoma, CA, NAPCOR is the trade association for the PET plastics industry in North America, and compiles annual industry data that can help manufacturers and recyclers anticipate shortages and make better investment decisions.

According to the report, the continued expansions in capacity, despite the supply shortage of recycled PET, reflect the increasing use and demand for recycled PET, which has prompted companies who anticipate a long-term need for RPET supply to either quietly back new merchant reclaimers or to do it themselves.

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