PET Facts

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. PET is a plastic resin and a form of polyester that is formed by combining two monomers: modified ethylene glycol and purified terephthalic acid.

Bottled water containers, as with all food packaging materials, must be made from FDA-approved food contact substances.  So, the plastic and glass containers that are used for bottled water products (which are made from the same materials used in other food product containers) have undergone FDA scrutiny prior to being available for use in the market place. PET plastic bottles, commonly small, portable 16.9 and 24 ounce sizes, are considered safe and reliable for food contact use. PET is used for numerous types of packaging for many foods, including everything from ketchup, peanut butter, soft drinks, and juices to beer, wine and spirits.  PET is approved as safe for food and beverage contact by the FDA and similar regulatory agencies throughout the world, and has been for over 30 years.

Did you know...

  • According to the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), now at 38.6%, the recycling rate for single-serve PET plastic bottled water containers more than doubled between 2003-2011. 
     
  • According the EPA, plastic bottles make up less than one-third of one percent of the waste stream.
     
  • Of all the plastics produced in the United States, PET plastic bottled water packaging makes up only 0.92%.
     
  • Between 2000-2011, the average weight of a 16.9-ounce PET plastic bottle has declined 47.7% to 9.89 grams, saving 3.3 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000.
     
  • Plastic bottled water containers are the most frequently recycled PET beverage container in curbside recycling programs.
     
  • All PET bottled water containers are 100% recyclable.
     
  • Recycling infrastructure for PET is well-established, from widespread collection and separation to processing and end use.
     
  • PET can be recycled multiple times.
     
  • Virtually all recycling programs in the United States accept PET containers.
     
  • The first PET bottle was recycled in 1977.
     
  • More than 1.5 billion pounds of PET were recycled in 2010 and more than 1 billion pounds of recycled PET material was used in U.S. and Canadian end-products.

To learn more about PET, please visit the National Association for PET Container Resources