Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Replacing Beverage Containers Wasted in 2005e

Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Replacing Beverage Containers Wasted in 2005e

Container Type Greenhouse Gases Per Ton Wasted (MTCE) (a) Containers Wasted, 2005 (b) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Due to "Replacement Production"
Units (billion) Tons (million) (million MTCE) # cars with equivalent annual emissions (million) (c)
Aluminum cans 4.09 55.0 0.8 3.3 2.6
#1 PET plastic bottles 0.42 43.6 1.5 0.6 0.5
#2 HDPE plastic bottles 0.38 6.8 0.4 0.2 0.1
Glass bottles 0.08 28.8 6.9 0.5 0.4
Total n/a 134.1 9.6 4.7 3.7

(a) Metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE) per ton of "replacement" containers; ie., the difference in GHG emissions between making 1 ton of containers from 100% virgin materials vs. 100% recycled materials. Source for per ton emissions data: Derived from Exhibit 4.4, “Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Life Cycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks, 2nd edition." EPA530-R-02-006, May 2002.

(b) Aluminum can data based on data from the Aluminum Association and the U.S. Department of Commerce; plastic and glass data is estimated using data from prior years from the Glass Packaging Institute, the U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste, the American Plastics Council, and the National Association of PET Container Resources.

(c) Average American car emits 1.3 MTCE/year. Derived from "Prioritizing your climate waste activities." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. October 2005. <www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/ reduce/wstewise/pubs/cliwaste.pdf> Accessed 2-6-05.

© Container Recycling Institute, 2006