Starting a PET Recycling Program
More consumers are requesting products packaged in PET
plastic because PET containers are lightweight, shatterproof and
resealable. More PET plastic bottles on the shelf or in vending
machines means more bottles to recycle. Recycled PET plastic bottles
are not only kept from landfills, but are made into exciting, everyday
This overview serves as a general guide to setting up PET
recycling programs outside of the conventional curbside or drop-off
recycling programs. For more details, please contact NAPCOR.
Essential Elements of a Successful Program
A successful PET recycling program starts with five
- A capable and enthusiastic program coordinator
- A secure market for the PET recyclables
- A simple and reliable collection system
- An effective employee education and public awareness
- A qualified, reliable, full-service outside reclamation
company (a recycler or waste hauler)
PET Recycling in Seven Steps
The following important steps will help to ensure an
efficient and effective PET collection program:
- Appoint a program coordinator.
Appoint an individual to implement and oversee the program. The program
coordinator should also recruit assistance as needed.
- Conduct a PET plastic bottles assessment.
This assessment should include information on how many PET bottles are
sold on the premises, what other materials are currently recycled by
your organization, and where most of the PET bottles are consumed and
- Determine who will collect and market the
Numerous factors may affect your choice, including your ability to
deliver the recyclables to market yourself and any opportunities for
cooperative programs with neighboring businesses. You should also
consider negotiating with a local recycling company or waste hauler to
pick-up. purchase and market your recyclables.
- Establish the on-site collection system.
Most on-site collection systems include individual collection bins and
transportation to a central storage location on your premises. You
should consider the number, size and location of these bins as well as
any additional servicing necessary, which might include emptying the
bins, using bin liners, sorting trash from the bin, and preparing the
bottles for marketing. You should also determine who will collect and
transport the bottles and where they will be stored to accumulate
before being sent to market.
- Educate and train the staff.
Your recycling team must have a good understanding of the program's
importance and operational methods as well as each individual task
related to the process. Your staff also should be able to educate
consumers on appropriate recycling methods.
- Publicize the program through consumer and
Teach those on your premises how to recycle PET plastic bottles
properly so that they can spread the word. Remind them to recycle their
bottles and share the success of their recycling efforts. Planning
events such as a PET plastic fashion show can help to highlight the
importance of recycling.
- Monitor and evaluate the program.
Stay in close contact with your collection staff and recyclables
buyers. Respond quickly to the "bugs" in your system. Evaluate the
collection system often to ensure its effectiveness.
PET Recycling Program Checklist:
Before you initiate your plans for a PET recycling program,
make sure you have:
- A capable program coordinator.
- A secure market for recyclables.
- A reliable collection system.
- A detailed assessment of PET plastic bottles
- A well-planned system for employee education.
- A plan for publicity and consumer education.
- A qualified full-service reclamation company.
- A clear process for monitoring and evaluation