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Fun Facts About PET

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
May 23, 2014
"A solution to the full wrap shrink recyclability problem? Not so fast" - A perspective by NAPCOR Executive Director Rick Moore -
October 9, 2013
2012 Report on PET Container Recycling released today (Press Release) See link below to access reports page
October 9, 2013
2012 Report on Postconsumer PET Container Recycling Activity
> More News
A guide to setting up PET recycling programs outside of the conventional curbside and drop-off programs.
> learn more