PET – Clearly The Most Recycled Plastic

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Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a highly recyclable plastic resin and a form of polyester with many characteristics that make it suitable for product packaging. Labeled with the #1 code on or near the bottom of bottles and containers, PET is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. It is clear, durable, chemically inert, eco-friendly, and lightweight, which allows for the manufacture of large but light containers that are strong and safe. All those clear bottles you see around – water, soda, salad dressing, peanut butter, mouthwash and beyond; not only are they a popular choice because of their clarity, they are 100% recyclable! The use of recycled PET in place of virgin resin typically results in reduced energy consumption, lower cost, and reduced environmental impact.

Companies are increasingly recognizing the urgency of recycling PET. While food-grade processing has been established, efforts are being made to improve the efficiency of processing technologies.  In the meantime, the availability of post-consumer PET material is a challenge. Recovery rates in the United States have remained flat or declining in recent years. This situation has been exacerbated by less material generation through curbside recycling programs, which, in turn, is related to the decreasing popularity of carbonated beverages, as well as the trend toward designing more lightweight bottles.  

So, don’t pitch that plastic! Recycle it!