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[greenyes] RE: European PET Recycling

Europe may be in the "Golden Years" of PET recycling....but can it be

The news from Europe that the number of tons of PET bottles recycled
increased by 36% is "good news", to be sure, but it is important to put the
data into perspective. While we know from the information passed along to
us by Peter Anderson that the number of tons of PET recycled increased, we
don't know what the increase in PET bottles sold was. My guess is that PET
sales saw a big increase as well, and thus the recycling rate may not have
experienced a huge increase. Even if the recycling rate did experience a
significant increase, one wonders if it can be sustained. Certainly we have
not been able to sustain the PET recycling rates realized in the United
States in the early 1990's.

In 1993 we experienced a 32% increase in PET bottles recycled, from 402 mm
lbs in 2002 to 527 mm lbs, and yes, the recycling rate increased too, from
29% to 34.8%--a significant jump. (Ah, those were the golden years of PET
recycling.) But because the PET bottle sales increased by 10% (from 1388 mm
lbs to 1514 mm lbs) the number of pounds wasted (not recycled) stayed
constant at 987 mm lbs. In other words, gains were made in recycling, but
not in waste reduction.

PET recycling experienced another good year in 1994, when the number of
pounds recycled increased significantly and the recycling rate jumped to a
record 37.5%. Unfortunately, the recycling rate has been in a downward
spiral ever since--falling below 20% in 2002. The more tragic trend has
been the rise in PET bottles wasted (not recycled), from about 2.1 million
tons wasted in 1994 to 6.4 million tons wasted in 2002.

The PET bottles not recycled represent a wealth of energy and resources
wasted. The costs to the environment are great and so are the costs to
local governments and taxpayers. PET bottles not recycled also represent a
lost opportunity for PET processors and end users. Companies that cannot
expand their operations, and worse yet, companies that go out of business,
represent a lost opportunity for our economy.

So, Congratulations to Europe on their 36% increase in PET bottles recycled,
and Good Luck in sustaining that increase. If anyone out there has
information on the number of tons of PET sold in Europe in 2002 and 2003
PLEASE send it to me so that we can have a complete picture of the status of
PET recycling in Europe.

Best regards to all,

Pat Franklin

PS To view a powerpoint presentation (not animated) titled "Can the
Downward Trend of PET Recycling be Reversed" go to and scroll down to the bottom of the
page. And, while you're on our Container-Recycling homepage, you might want
to take note of our bottle counter that counts the number of beverage
bottles and cans NOT recycled since January 1, 2004. There is also
information on the page about the precipitous drop in aluminum can recycling
last year--from 48% to 44%. The Golden Years of aluminum can recycling,
too, are behind us.

Patricia Franklin
Executive Director
Container Recycling Institute
1911 N. Fort Myer Drive, Ste. 702
Arlington, VA 22209

TEL: 703.276.9800
FAX: 703.276.9587
EMAIL: pfranklin@no.address

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Anderson [mailto:anderson@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2004 6:14 PM
To: GreenYes
Subject: European PET Recycling

June 1 2004

Petcore has announced that more PET bottles were collected and recycled in
Europe in 2003 than ever before.

612,000 tonnes of European PET bales were offered to the recycling markets
in 2003, compared with 449,000 tonnes the previous year, representing a
growth rate of 36 per cent. Trends in market outlets remain unchanged, with
bottle-to-bottle recycling increasing from 8.1 per cent in 2002, to 11.1 per
cent in 2003. Other RPET outlets include polyester fibre (70.4 per cent),
polyester sheet (7.5 per cent) and strapping (7.6 per cent).

Exceptionally high growth rates were seen in Spain, Portugal, Hungary,
Slovakia, the Baltic states and in Ireland. A large increase was also
recorded in the UK, for the first time in many years. Germany and the UK
were the countries contributing most to the increase of bottle export to

Export of RPET rose from 33,000 tonnes in 2002 to 136,000 tonnes last year.

Petcore director general Frank Koelewijn said: "There is much growth
potential in the new member states, and it is very reassuring to see how
mature collection countries such as Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and
Switzerland, continue to collect more, year after year. The fundamentals of
such growth are based on commitments of beverage brands, PET stakeholders
and above all: committed citizens."

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell (608) 698-1314
email: anderson@no.address

This message, and all attachments thereto,
is covered by the Electronic Communications
Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., Sections 2510-2521.
This message is CONFIDENTIAL. If you are
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then any retention, dissemination, distribution
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