We’ve all seen it before. Images of plastic waste floating in the ocean. Bottles left behind at parks.

We know plastic pollution is a threat to our environment and we don’t want to see our bottles end up where they don’t belong as litter in our communities, but banning plastic altogether is not a reasonable solution to reducing plastic pollution. A recent article penned by the American Beverage Association’s Katherine Lugar and National Association for PET Container Resources’ Darrel Collier tells us why.

“Plastic bottles should be recycled and remade into new bottles or other consumer products to prevent litter and conserve resources. That vision is what led to the development of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET for short…when PET is recycled as intended, it can be remade into millions of new products many times over, reducing the need for new plastic and lowering our carbon footprint.”

ABA’s members use bottles that are made of 100% recyclable PET. More than 1,570 million pounds of recycled PET is used annually to make new products such as carpet, playgrounds, clothing and shoes. This is why America’s leading beverage companies launched Every Bottle Back, a groundbreaking initiative to help us reduce our plastic footprint and get more plastic back. 

As part of this initiative, the beverage industry is partnering with key environmental and sustainability leaders - World Wildlife Fund, The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners - to increase the collection of plastic bottles so they can be remade into new bottles, reducing our reliance on new plastic and ensuring bottles don't end up in places they shouldn't.

“These efforts are making a direct impact in communities like the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, where ABA recently announced a nearly $3 million investment in recycling and consumer education. This investment will give more Texas families access to recycling, boost collection, and reduce the need for new plastic,” says Lugar and Collier.

By improving our recycling infrastructure and educating on the importance and many uses of PET, we can all work together to ensure the creation of a circular economy that will keep plastic out of nature.

To learn more about the value of PET and the importance of recycling, read the full article in RealClearEnergy