Weight of PET Bottled Water Containers Has Decreased by 32.6 Percent Over Past Eight Years

Alexandria, VA – A new analysis performed by the Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) for the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) shows that over the past eight years the gram weight of the 16.9 ounce “single serve” bottled water container has dropped by 32.6%. The average PET bottled water container weighed 18.9 grams in 2000 and by 2008, the average amount of PET resin in each bottle has declined to 12.7 grams. BMC estimated that during this time span, more than 1.3 billion pounds of PET resin has been saved by the bottled water industry through container light-weighting. In 2008 alone, the bottled water industry saved 445 million pounds of PET plastic by reducing the weight of its plastic bottles.

“The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is proud the bottled water industry has worked diligently to reduce the weight of its plastic bottles,” said IBWA President and CEO Joseph K. Doss. “In addition, IBWA salutes the PET plastic resin manufacturers who worked hard to find new ways to strengthen PET plastic resin so that less plastic goes further in maintaining the structural integrity of the thinner bottle.”

Although PET plastic bottled water containers make-up a tiny fragment of the waste material going into landfills (according to the U.S. EPA, the figure is 1/3 of 1 percent) light-weighting lessens the impact of water bottles that are not recycled. “Advances made in light-weighting bottled water containers reduce waste, preserve resources and deliver a more sustainable product to consumers,” Doss continued.

Since the endpoint of the BMC analysis in 2008, some IBWA member companies report further declines in bottle gram weight, with some bottled water containers on store shelves now weighing less than 10 grams; a fact that is certain to be reflected in future analysis. ?

“When coupled with bottled water’s safety, convenience and healthfulness, the ‘total bottled water package’ is one that consumers can feel proud about,” said Doss. “No one should be surprised that the bottled water industry would be a trend-setter and industry leader in PET plastic container weight reduction, but the facts speak for themselves. This is one way we as a nation can put a meaningful dent in post-consumer disposal of plastic that is not recycled.”