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Solid Waste Material Data Sheet

Plastic #1 (PETE) Food/Bev. Containers 
Category: Plastic
Activity Type: Recycling
  • Management Issues: Waste Generation Information;
    1.13 million tons or 0.54% by weight.*
    620,000 tons of soft drink bottles.*
    330,000 tons of custom bottles.*
    180,000 tons of non-bottle packaging.*
    7.2 pounds of PET bottles per person.*
    8.5 pounds of all PET products per person.*
    USA Recycling Information:
    330,000 tons for a 34.7% bottle recycling rate.*
    286,000 tons for a 26% bottle recycling rate in 1996.
    (Industry data based on clear flake used for final product and export.). Other PET packages and products are recycled only minimally. Source Reduction Information:
    The PET soft drink bottle is 28% lighter than it was 20 years ago.
    Recycling Market (Closing the Loop) Information:
    The fiber market, which uses recycled PET bottles for carpet, clothing, and other fiber uses, is recycled PET's primary market. Recycled PET also can be used for food and beverage containers. Export markets are becoming increasingly important. End-Market Specifications:
    PET bottles fall under ISRI Guidelines for Plastic Scrap: P-97. These include specifications for soft drink bottles separated by color or mixed together; mixed soft drink and custom bottles; and mixed bottles with jars, tubs, trays, etc. Contamination is limited to 2%, and PET cannot be stored outdoors for more than six months unless it is covered with UV-resistant materials.

    Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which has almost the same specific gravity as PET, is a major contaminant. PVC bottles can be inadvertently mixed with PET bottles because they look alike or through inclusion of bottle caps with PVC liners. A mechanical system can be used to separate out PVC. SOURCES:
    Chas Miller, senior manager of hauling and recycling for the Environmental Industry Associations (Washington, D.C.).
    American Plastics Council (Washington, D.C.)
    Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 1996 Update, U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste, 1997 1993 Update, U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste, 1994 Measurement Standards and Reporting Guidelines, National Recycling Coalition (Alexandria, Va.)
    Modern Plastics National Association for Plastic Container Recovery (Charlotte, N.C.)
    Resource Recycling
    Scrap Specifications Circular 1997, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (Washington, D.C.)
    Waste Age's Recycling Times
    Waste Recyclers Council (Washington, D.C.)
  • Handling Tips: Take off all caps and lids. They are likely to be contaminants. Crush bottles to fit more into storage containers.
  • Regulations: Recycled Content Information
    Rare in soda bottles, although its use has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Click for additional on-site information regarding Plastic #1 (PETE) Food/Bev. Containers 
 

Facilities That Manage Plastic #1 (PETE) Food/Bev. Containers

Pounds Per Unit Conversions

  • Each Pound weighs 1 pounds.
  • Each Ton weighs 2000 pounds.