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RE: [GreenYes] RE: aluminum cans vs. plastis bottles
"Actually the plastic 'beverage' bottle recycling rate is higher than 22.5%/17.5% beccause PET soda bottle recycling rate is 35.1% ..."


Thought I'd keep this discussion thread on Greenyes in case others wanted to chip in.

I'm not challenging your figures (God knows you're the expert here) but I can't make the math work out to a 35% PET beverage container recycling rate.  Help me out here so that the lipstick on this pig is only what is deserved.  

From what I know:

75% of all PET bottles are 'beverage' bottles (source, R. W. Beck, BEAR report, 1999)
3,768 million pounds of PET bottles were on U. S. store shelves in 2001(source, NAPCOR recycling activity report, 2001)

This equals approximately 2,826 million pounds of PET 'beverage' bottles on U. S. shelves in 2001 (assuming that the 1999 fraction of 'beverage' PET bottles was the same in 2001)

834 million pounds of PET bottles were collected for recycling  in 2001
Let's assume that 75% of those were 'beverage' bottles - (maybe higher?)

That means 625.5 million pounds of PET 'beverage' bottles were recycled in 2001.

Yield loss of 20% means that 500.4 million pounds of PET were converted to RPET.

500.4 million pounds / 2,826 million pounds = 17.71% net recycling rate for 'beverage' bottles.  Conversely, to reach a 35% PET 'beverage' bottle recycling rate would mean 989.1 million pounds of PET 'beverage' bottles would have been recycled or 1,236.4 million pounds factoring in a 20% yield loss.  Both of these numbers exceed NAPCOR's reported total PET collection amount for 2001.

What am I missing?

B. Wayne Turner
City of Winston-Salem
Utilities Division
phone: (336) 727 8418

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