International Bottled Water Association
November 14, 2019
Alexandria, VA – The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is proud to be a sponsor once again for America Recycles Day, in which this year’s themes are recycling innovation and partnership.
America Recycles Day, held annually on November 15, is an initiative of IBWA-partner Keep America Beautiful.
“Educating Americans about the importance of recycling—whether at home, at work, or on-the-go, is more important than ever,” says Jill Culora, IBWA’s vice president of communications. “And we’re encouraging consumers to not only up their recycling game but also to tell friends and relatives that they should recycle too if they aren’t already. One-by-one, if the recycling message and action spreads – it benefits us all.”
Keep America Beautiful is one of many organizations IBWA has partnered with to help improve recycling rates across the United States and internationally.
In addition, IBWA’s #PutItInTheBin partner initiative produced two social media campaigns in 2019; one that addressed recycling contamination issues and another that promoted the value of recovering recyclable plastics.
The contamination campaign used pro-recycling images and messages to inform consumers about common items mistakenly recycled that are not actually recyclable. Some of those nonrecyclable items included greasy pizza boxes, plastic bags, plastic straws and silverware, and food-soiled cardboard take-out boxes and drink cups.
“As single-stream recycling has become more common, more items that don’t belong in the bin have made their way in because people have started ‘wish-cycling,’” says Culora. “It’s important that consumers become more aware of what can actually be recycled, what can’t, and how to properly recycle some items, such as a pizza box. If it’s greasy, it’s not recyclable – but if the top half doesn’t have grease on it– you can tear it off and place it in the recycling bin.”
Another important recycling tip: “If in doubt, throw it out,” says Culora.
IBWA supports strong community recycling initiatives and recognizes that a continued focus on increased recycling is important for all. Bottled water containers make up approximately 55 percent of the PET plastic collected in curbside systems throughout the United States. The industry is always looking for ways to strengthen existing recycling programs and help to expand recycling efforts further. However, even in instances when PET bottled water containers are not properly recycled, they make up only 3.3 percent of all drink packaging in U.S. landfills, whereas plastic soda containers make up 13.3 percent.
In its efforts to increase recycling rates, IBWA is active in helping improve access to curbside recycling bins through its involvement with Keep America Beautiful and The Recycling Partnership – a national recycling nonprofit organization comprised of industries and municipalities – with a goal of making a measurable impact on recycling in the United States. IBWA is also a member of three regional recycling groups: the Florida Recycling Partnership, the Michigan Recycling Partnership, and the Northeast Recycling Council.
Continual light-weighting of PET bottled water plastic packaging has resulted in the average weight drop to 9.25 grams per 16.9 ounce single-serve container. That is almost one-third less PET than the amount it takes to make soda and other drink containers, which need to be thicker due to carbonation and manufacturing processes and weigh, on average, 23.9 grams.
Between 2000 and 2014, the average weight of a 16.9 ounce single-serve PET bottled water container reduced by 51 percent, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation. This saved 6.2 billion pounds of PET resin during that time period.
For more information about bottled water, visit www.bottledwater.org.