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Initiative to improve PET bottle recyclability

Europe – UNESDA, the union of European non-alcoholic beverage associations, together with the European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW) have called on their respective memberships to adhere to specific design criteria for PET bottles in order to improve their recyclability.

Incompatible materials can adversely affect the PET recycling process. Components of PET bottles such as barriers, additives, full-body sleeves and opaque colouring are leading to deterioration in the quality of recycled PET and negatively impacting bottle-to-bottle recycling, it is argued. In order to improve the quality and economic viability of PET bottle recycling, UNESDA and EFBW have therefore recommended their members to implement ‘Design for Recycling Guidelines’ – a set of specific criteria established by the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP).

‘We are encouraging all our member companies and the wider industry to review their current and new PET bottle specifications against the EPBP guidelines for resource-efficient PET packaging,’ confirms Cees Van Dongen who heads up packaging issues at UNESDA.

‘The bottled water and soft drinks industries are fully committed to operating in an environmentally sustainable manner,’ adds Philippe Diercxsens, a leading packaging expert and Vice-Chair of EFBW’s Environment Committee.‘Our goal is to encourage members to consider the recycling of PET bottles at the very beginning of the planning process when developing new PET bottle designs.’

UNESDA and EFBW hope their members will achieve compliance with the EPBP guidelines by the end of 2012.

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