Bottled Up! Expensive Battle for Scarce Supplies of Recycled Plastic is Looming. Companies Seek to Cut Carbon Footprints; Environmental Benefit Could be Cleaner Oceans.

SITUATION:
Used plastic bottles best known for clogging the world’s oceans
Surprisingly short supply, as consumer brands compete to meet recycling targets.
Spot prices for recycled PET flakes have plastic-bottle waste doubled in Europe

SIGNIFICANCE
Nestlé, NSRGY -0.27% the world’s biggest food company,
Wants to cut its use of virgin plastic by one-third by 2025.
Coca-Cola KO 0.04% wants to use at least 50% recycled material in the decade.

SOLUTIONS
Plastic bottles have been recycled into carpets and takeaway food cartons
Now clothing brands are also vying for them in fashion industry.
Has not figured out how to recycle plastic based garments such as polyester
Companies in the EU will have to use 25% recycled content in PET drink bottles
Minimum quotas are due to be announced for other types of packaging
Spot prices for recycled PET have skyrocketed this year.
Shortage to make brand sustainable packaging pledges more expensive

STATS:
The infrastructure needed to collect plastic waste is less developed in the U.S.
The recycling rate for PET bottles averages around 30%. That compares with 64% in Europe,

SOURCES:
WSJ
Empty Plastic Bottles Go From Trash to Hot Commodity
https://www.wsj.com/articles/empty-plastic-bottles-go-from-trash-to-hot-commodity-11636455644

Reporter: CAROL.RYAN@WSJ.COM

Here is what PET Flakes from recycled plastic looks like:

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