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Resource conservation through beverage container recycling

Abstract

This paper compares resource use for new and recycled polyester soft drink bottles with the glass bottles they displace, to determine the alternatives with minimum resource burden. A mechanism is then suggested for encouraging one efficient alternative. Since the introduction of plastic soft-drink bottles in 1977, the 2 1. container has captured almost the entire U.S. market. The number of PET bottles used in 1981 was 2.4 billion, and could grow to 14 billion by 1990 if the penetration into the 0.5 1. market is as rapid as some experts predict (2). Consumers value the PET bottle's light weight and unbreakability. However, plastic bottles are made from oil and gas feedstocks which are imported and becoming more expensive. Recycling drastically reduces the oil and gas required to supply these bottles; recycling PET from bottles to other uses could save on the order of six million barrels of oil equivalent per year by 1990. A simple and economic technology is available for performing this recovery, yet only 5% of the bottles used in 1980 were returned. What is missing is an effective inducement for bottle return. The reverse-vending machines that we propose can provide part of that inducement by eliminating the  More>>
Publication Date:
Jan 01, 1983
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
EDB-84-064252
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Conserv. Recycling; (United Kingdom); Journal Volume: 6:1/2
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; BEVERAGES; CONTAINERS; RECYCLING; ECONOMIC ANALYSIS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; GLASS; POLYESTERS; RESOURCE CONSERVATION; ECONOMICS; ESTERS; FOOD; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC POLYMERS; POLYMERS; 320604* - Energy Conservation, Consumption, & Utilization- Municipalities & Community Systems- Municipal Waste Management- (1980-)
OSTI ID:
5058780
Research Organizations:
Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL
Country of Origin:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: CODEN: CRECD
Submitting Site:
HEDB
Size:
Pages: 11-20
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Gaines, L L, and Wolsky, A M. Resource conservation through beverage container recycling. United Kingdom: N. p., 1983. Web. doi:10.1016/0361-3658(83)90011-5.
Gaines, L L, & Wolsky, A M. Resource conservation through beverage container recycling. United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/0361-3658(83)90011-5.
Gaines, L L, and Wolsky, A M. 1983. "Resource conservation through beverage container recycling." United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/0361-3658(83)90011-5. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10.1016/0361-3658(83)90011-5.
@misc{etde_5058780,
title = {Resource conservation through beverage container recycling}
author = {Gaines, L L, and Wolsky, A M}
abstractNote = {This paper compares resource use for new and recycled polyester soft drink bottles with the glass bottles they displace, to determine the alternatives with minimum resource burden. A mechanism is then suggested for encouraging one efficient alternative. Since the introduction of plastic soft-drink bottles in 1977, the 2 1. container has captured almost the entire U.S. market. The number of PET bottles used in 1981 was 2.4 billion, and could grow to 14 billion by 1990 if the penetration into the 0.5 1. market is as rapid as some experts predict (2). Consumers value the PET bottle's light weight and unbreakability. However, plastic bottles are made from oil and gas feedstocks which are imported and becoming more expensive. Recycling drastically reduces the oil and gas required to supply these bottles; recycling PET from bottles to other uses could save on the order of six million barrels of oil equivalent per year by 1990. A simple and economic technology is available for performing this recovery, yet only 5% of the bottles used in 1980 were returned. What is missing is an effective inducement for bottle return. The reverse-vending machines that we propose can provide part of that inducement by eliminating the inconvenience that now surrounds the sale of empty bottles to recyclers. These machines would dispense coins in return for empty PET bottles, and could be located in supermarkets or their parking lots. We believe the design, construction, and use of such machines is an opportunity that has been overlooked.}
doi = {10.1016/0361-3658(83)90011-5}
journal = {Conserv. Recycling; (United Kingdom)}
volume = {6:1/2}
journal type = {AC}
place = {United Kingdom}
year = {1983}
month = {Jan}
}