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Fun Facts About PET

  • The PET bottle was patented in 1973 by chemist Nathaniel Wyeth (brother of distinguished American painter Andrew Wyeth).
  • The first PET bottle was recycled in 1977.
  • An estimated 7,700 curbside collection programs and 10,000 drop-off programs currently collect PET plastic in the United States.
  • Approximate number of PET beverage bottles per pound:
    16 oz. -- 18 bottles
    20 oz. -- 19 bottles
    1 liter -- 12 bottles
    2 liter -- 9 bottles
    3 liter -- 5 bottles
  • One cubic yard of landfill space is conserved by recycling:
    4,800  16-ounce PET beverage bottles
    4,050  20-ounce bottles
    3,240  1-liter bottles
    2,430  2-liter bottles
    1,350  3-liter bottles
  • Since 1978, manufacturers have reduced the weight of a two-liter bottle by about 29%, from 68 grams to 48 grams.
  • Recycling a ton of PET containers saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • According to the EPA, recycling a pound of PET saves approximately 12,000 BTUs. (To see our April 2010 Life Cycle Inventory Report, visit our Sustainability page.) 
  • The average household used 42 pounds of PET plastic bottles in 2005.
  • Custom bottles (those used for products other than carbonated soft drinks) represent 62% of all PET bottles available for recycling.
  • Nineteen 20-ounce PET bottles yield enough fiber for an extra large T-shirt, or enough to make one square foot of carpet.
  • It takes 63 20-ounce PET bottles to make a sweater.
  • Fourteen 20-ounce PET bottles yield enough fiberfill for a ski jacket.
  • It takes 114 20-ounce PET bottles to make enough fiberfill for a sleeping bag.
Also visit our Kids' Corner page. 

News & Events
December 5, 2016
Link to 2-minute "Your Bottle Means Jobs" Video
December 5, 2016
New Video Highlights Job Creation Through Plastic Bottle Recycling (link to full press release)
November 2016
Going Beyond Collection: NAPCOR looks at PET thermoform recycling opportunities and challenges in November issue of "Plastics Recycling Update"
> More News
A guide to setting up PET recycling programs outside of the conventional curbside and drop-off programs.
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