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PET Thermoform Recycling

Recycling Your PET (#1) Thermoforms

PET thermoform recycling is increasing in the U.S. and Canada, though some technical and design for recyclability issues remain. NAPCOR is working through key challenges to expand domestic recovery of this valuable, sustainable material without jeopardizing existing PET bottle recycling assets. (For more, click on Case Study button below.) 

If you are considering adding PET thermoforms to your recycling program, or redirecting them from a mixed plastic bale to a domestic PET market, consider the following: 
  • Ask your PET buyer(s) if they’ll accept mixed bottle/thermoform bales (and at what percentage), or dedicated PET thermoform bales.
  • Not all thermoforms are PET. Before you attempt to separate and market PET thermoforms, implement best sorting practices to minimize contamination and maximize quality. Reclaimers currently accepting PET thermoforms specify auto-sorted material. 
  • Investments in best practices to meet domestic buyer specifications will pay off. Clean, high-quality bales of PET bottles mixed with a specified percentage of PET thermoforms, or PET thermoform-only bales, both command good domestic market value.

Plastics Recycling Update (Nov 2016)
Going Beyond Collection
Are PET thermoforms that are placed in curbside bins actually making it to market? A trade group looks into that question and provides an update on the opportunities and challenges tied to this increasingly prevalent form of plastic packaging.
PET Thermoform Recycling
September 2011
NAPCOR article on the push to improve the domestic recycling of PET thermoform packaging, and the steps being taken by stakeholders to advance this project. From "Resource Recycling" magazine, September 2011.

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.
> learn more