Beverage Container Facts & Statistics

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Statistics and Research

Suggested improvements to EPA's Municipal Solid Waste report

The US EPA recently invited the public to comment on its annual Municipal Solid Waste report, to develop new measurement definitions and measurement protocols, and may lead to the addition of new materials to future reports.

CRI uses the MSW data on this website and in many of its publications and presentations, and submitted a number of suggestions, including several regarding the accounting for contamination in calculating recycling rates.

Need more in-depth information about beverage container sales and recycling in any or all of the United States? Consider requesting a Beverage Market Data Analysis.


CRI reports on a variety of beverage container related issues, from the state of recycling and wasting in America, to the impacts of specific beverages like bottled water. View all available publications.


Alternatives to Packaged Beverages

Is it time to question our consumption of packaged soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, and teas? There are many other, less wasteful options.  A suggestion for Zero Beverage Container Waste.

Bottle Bills

One of the most effective ways to ensure beverage containers get recycled is to put a refundable deposit on all packaged beverages. Deposit-refund systems (also known as bottle bills) are discussed in depth at the Bottle Bill Resource Guide.

Single Stream Recycling

Single-stream recycling is increasingly being adopted by municipalities looking to decrease the costs of recycling. But is the convenience really worth it in the long run?

Good Stuff? A Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy - Beverages [pdf]

Did you know?

2/3 of all beverage containers in the United States never get recycled!

Recyclable materials waiting for curbside pickup


Learn how CRI made a difference in 2023 through high-profile initiatives, legislative analysis and advocacy, and education and collaboration.



All Container Links


    • Calculations - Learn how CRI calculates Aluminum can recycling rates




    • The Trillionth Can - From 1972-2003, we threw away over one trillion aluminum cans--enough to reach around the earth 3048 times.



    • Plastic Resin Codes - We talk a lot about PET and HDPE, but do you know the difference between them? [PDF,178kb].






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