New data compiled by the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) show that between 2000 and 2014, the average weight of a half-liter, single-serve PET water bottle has declined 52% to 9.25 grams. This has resulted in a savings of 2.8 billion kilograms of PET resin since 2000.
The National Association for PET Container Resources (Napcor) notes that producing new products from rPET uses two-thirds less energy than what is required to make products from raw virgin materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Additional savings of virgin PET can be attributed to increasing use of rPET in bottled water containers. BMC reports that between 2008 and 2014, the use of rPET in bottled water packaging increased by 17.5% to 21%. In fact, last year alone, rPET use increased by 8%. For companies that use rPET, the average rPET content is 20% per container.
According to BMC, bottled water is poised to become the largest beverage category, by volume, in the United States by the end of the decade.
All bottled water containers are 100% recyclable; and of all the plastics produced in the U.S., PET plastic bottled water packaging makes up only 0.92% – less than one percent. Moreover, according data derived from BMC and the Container Resource Institute, bottled water containers make up only 4.9% of all drink packaging in landfills. Plastic 3- and 5-gallon bottled water containers are reused between 30-50 times before being recycled, and the bottled water industry continues to support strong community recycling programs.
To encourage a comprehensive approach to effective recycling, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) developed its Material Recovery Program (MRP), a collaborative joint venture between businesses and government. The MRP supports the development of new, comprehensive solutions to help manage solid waste in U.S. communities by having all consumer product companies, including bottled water, work together with state and local governments to improve recycling and waste education and collection efforts for all packaged goods.