Oct 13 - Record High Recycling for PET Plastic


National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), in collaboration with The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, released their plastic recycling report, showing that PET collection rate has increased to 1.557 billion pounds in 2010, with expanded bottle deposit programs in Oregon, Connecticut and New York accounting for almost half of the increase. California continues to dominate with more than one of every four PET bottles collected for recycling collected in the state.

Despite all that collection, there is a supply shortage of PET for US recyclers, and it is likely to get even more pronounced moving into 2011. Both Custom Polymers PET in Athens, AL, and CarbonLite Industries in Riverside, CA., added 100 million pound PET wash lines in the past five months, reports Plastics News.

"If we hadn’t had the expansions in those three bottle deposit states, reclaimers would have had a rough time," said Mike Schedler, technical director for NAPCOR.

However, all the domestic competition for supply is a good sign for competition with China. According to the report, exports of both PET and HDPE bales have decreased significantly. "I think what you are beginning to see is that we [the United States] can compete with China more favorably" in purchasing PET bales because of the new plants and the growing demand for recycled PET, Schedler said.

In California, PET collection rate has always been strong (73%) and now utlization of the material in-state has also increased thanks to the Plastic Market Development program, which has just been renewed for another 5 years. The PMD program provides market-based incentive to processors and manufacturers who use in-state supply of plastic.

View the report.