- The International Bottled Water Association and Beverage Marketing Corporation have announced that bottled water consumption by volume could overtake soda by the end of the year. Wholesale bottled water sales were $14.5 billion in 2015.
- While soda intake continues to drop, total U.S. bottled water use grew from 2014 by approximately 8% to 11.7 billion gallons in 2015. The average American drank 36.5 gallons of bottled water last year.
- The industry estimates that the recycling rate for single–serve PET plastic bottled water containers is now 37%.
Between 2000 and 2014 the average weight of a PET plastic bottle decreased by 51%. Resource Recycling says this means that recyclers will need to process more water bottles than the typically heavier soda bottles in order to reach the same weight of materials. Luckily, commodity prices saw a slight uptick this spring.
Major companies such as Nestle and Coca-Cola have announced new bottles made from 100% recycled material, and PET plastic bottles do make up the smallest percentage of beverage containers going to landfills. However this move toward recyclability still doesn't mean that all of the bottles are being captured.
More than 20 national parks have banned bottled water sales to reduce waste, but the beverage industry continues to fight back and Congress has even gotten involved. The parks encouraged guests to bring reusable bottles, though some studies have shown that in situations without bottled water people will just end up drinking less healthy beverages instead.