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PET plastic bottle recycling rates in select countries 2018

As of 2018, the recycling rate of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles in Norway was 97 percent, making it a world leader in recycling. In comparison, the recycling rate of these plastic bottles in the United States was just 29 percent.

Norway's high recycling rate can be explained by the country's efficient deposit return scheme. When consumers purchase plastic bottles, they pay a small additional fee on top of the price of the product and are reimbursed this once they are returned to reverse vending machines. The scheme has proved so effective that other countries have followed suit. In the UK, 86 percent of people support the idea of supermarket deposit return schemes for plastic and glass bottles, as well as drink cans.

PET plastic bottle recycling rates in select countries as of 2018*

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Data is from 2017.
** 65% is recycled at registered facilities, 15% in the unorganized sector

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Statistics on "Plastic waste in Europe"

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