IBWA Celebrates America Recycles Day and Encourages Greater Recycling of Bottled Water and All Containers

November 11, 2007

Alexandria, Va. - According to the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), 20 years ago, almost 1,000 curbside recycling programs existed in the U.S. Today, there are more than 10,000 curbside recycling programs across the nation, and Americans recycle 33 percent of their waste, a rate that has almost doubled in the past 15 years. The bottled water industry has been at the forefront of this issue, using containers that are 100 percent recyclable and made from increasingly lighter weight plastics.

America Recycles Day is November 15, 2007. In conjunction with the event, NRC and others will be conducting one of the most comprehensive recycling awareness campaigns in the nation. Hundreds of events will be held across the United States to raise awareness about the importance of recycling at home and work, and buying recycled products. Participants will also be encouraged to sign a personal pledge to recycle.

"We have long been committed to improving the environment and increase recycling of bottled water containers and all recyclable materials," said Joe Doss, president of International Bottled Water Association (IBWA). "As a founding member of the National Recycling Partnership, which is managed by NRC, we are pleased to support the efforts around America Recycles Day. Our industry has consistently worked to support efforts and initiatives that improve recycling rates. The bottled water industry is also one of the original recyclers; most of the larger plastic bottles found on home and office bottled water coolers are sanitized and re-used dozens of times before they are removed for the marketplace and recycled."

PET Beverage Containers Among Most Recycled Packaged Product

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beverage containers are among the most recycled packaged products in the U.S. In 2006, 1.272 billion pounds of PET bottles were collected, the highest PET container collection recorded and a nine percent increase over 2005, according to a recent report by the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR).

Recycled bottled water containers are highly valuable as raw materials for a variety of consumer and industrial products, including furniture, carpeting, fleece jackets and notebooks.

"It is encouraging that consumers are recycling more PET containers," said Dennis Sabourin, executive director of NAPCOR. "Recycling and an increased use of recycled PET containers in manufacturing are contributing to a more sustainable environment."

Americans Encouraged to Take Recycling Pledge

As the America Recycles Day slogan says, "It all comes back to you." Even a small shift in attitudes and actions, can make a big difference. IBWA encourages Americans to take the following pledge:

  • I pledge to find out what materials I can and cannot recycle in my community.
  • I pledge to lead by example in my neighborhood by recycling.
  • I pledge to recycle bottled water and other plastic containers.
  • I pledge to recycle batteries, cell phones and other electronic waste at an e-waste facility near me.
  • I pledge to email my elected officials to ask them to increase funding for my community's recycling programs.
  • I pledge to tell five friends that recycling is the easiest thing they can do to improve the environment and slow global warming.

To learn more about America Recycles Day and to sign the pledge, visit www.americarecyclesday.org.