- More than 80% of California’s beverage containers are being recycled, marking an increase from 2011 to 2015, with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) experiencing the greatest hike, according to data from CalRecycle and an analysis by Container Recycling Institute (CRI).
- The report shows the following specific increases: the sale of California Redemption Value (CRV) containers is up by 11% from 2011 to 2015, and more than 18 billion containers were recycled in 2014-15, an increase of 1.7 billion since fiscal year 2011.
- The recycling rate of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) dropped from 95% to 73%, and glass recycling fell from 85% to 74%. Aluminum cans are recycled more than any deposit containers, fluctuating between 95% and 97%, according to CRI.
California has strongly supported legislation to promote recycling of beverage containers, and to deal specifically with the problem of plastics. As the nation’s leading beverage container recycler, California's 82% recycling rate of these containers is double the national 39%.
"If the entire country had a container deposit system, we could achieve an 80% recycling rate for beverage containers nationwide," said Susan V. Collins, CRI president.
Collins was especially encouraged by the PET figures. "This is an important increase because PET bottles now comprise 47% of the beverage market: up from 41% five years ago."
The decline in HDPE and glass recycling could be expected, as they can no longer be single streamed in that state. But, said Collins, "The good news here is that CalRecycle has done a good job of enforcement to make sure that state redemption centers are participating in the program correctly."