On December 18, 2019, the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced publication of their latest report on postconsumer plastic bottle collection and recycling in the United States. This year’s report shows that the overall U.S. plastic bottle collection rate has continued to decrease from 29.7% in 2016 to 29.3% in 2017 and now further to 28.9% in 2018. There was a significant decrease in the export of post-consumer plastic bottles, with only 7.7% of material being exported outside of the U.S. Respectively, domestic processing of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles is at an all-time high, with a 238-million-pound increase in 2018 over 2017.

The report provides an overview of collected data for different plastic resins and highlights that the collection rate of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) increased, while the collection rate of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) bottles continued to decrease compared to last year’s report (FPF reported).

Collected for recycling20182017compared to 2017
PET bottles822,363 t782,901 t5%
HDPE bottles456,495 t472,553 t-3%
PP bottles13,880 t14,106 t-2%
Total plastic bottles1,293,646 t1,270,000 t2%
Collection rate201820172016
PET bottles28.9%29.2%28.4%
HDPE bottles30.4%31.1%33.4%
PP bottles17.0%17.2%20.2%
Total plastic bottles28.9%29.3%29.7%

Read more

ACC (December 18, 2019). “Plastic Bottle Recycling Strong Despite Challenges.

Anne Marie Mohan (January 13, 2019). “Static Bottle Recycling Rate is Insufficient to Meet CPG Demands for rPET.” Greener Package


APR & ACC (2019). “2018 United States national postconsumer plastic bottle recycling report.(pdf)