Israel tops US in bottle recycling

In 10 years, over five billion plastic bottles and containers have been recycled in Israel.

When recycling cages first appeared on neighborhood streets, many Israelis were skeptical that the country’s bottle recycling program would achieve its purpose. But a new report now shows that the Ela Beverage Containers Collection Corporation has collected over five billion plastic drinking bottles in the last decade.

Israel recycles over 50 percent of its plastic bottles.

The report shows that Israel recycles over 50 percent of its plastic bottles – a similar figure to Europe (51%) and far more than the United States (29.3%). Israel also recycles 77% of small glass bottles and cans.

“Consumers’ recycling habits and norms have been revolutionized,” Ela CEO Nehama Ronen told Ynet. “In about eight to nine years of intensive activity we’ve been able to catch up to Europe, which has been recycling for 25 years.”

According to the new report, the recycling of bottles has saved Israel over 500,000 tons of waste that otherwise would have ended up in landfills.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.
  • headman88

    How are “small” glass bottles and cans recycled?    In Jerusalem we recycle all our plastic containers and paper, but I have never seen a recycling bin for glass or metal.

  • Jacob Wadsworth

    Good to know that even Israel is doing great efforts to help save the environment. More and more countries are involved in eco-friendly activities which is good because we are the ones resposible for saving or destroying our planet. It is our choice. –

    • Cami

      Indeed. Recycling should be done worldwide and we should work hand-in-hand on this. This is just a simple way in helping our environment and if all of us will work together, having a greener future for our kids is not impossible.

      Here’s another good read on recycling, too.