US hasn’t got enough rPET to handle brands’ ambitions

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There won’t be enough rPET in the United States to match the targets pledged by major brands for use of recycled content, according to trade association National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).

In an interview with Plastics News, programme director Alasdair Carmichael said that with a recycling rate of 30% for PET, and much of this used for non-bottle applications, the numbers just don’t add up.

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With 48% of rPET used for applications such as carpets, strapping and textiles, with only 6% used for bottles. The remainder is traded for any use.

Even if all the 52% was used for manufacturing bottles, that wouldn’t be enough due to the low recycling rate.

He said to Plastics News: “We’re trying to make the point if we stay as we are, those commitments are not really going to be achievable. Given the status quo, we can’t get there.”

With a recycling rate of 58% for PET, Europe is in a much better position to meet the commitments made by brand owners, he added. Therefore, the United States needs to “change on the collection end, not just the production end”.

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