Japan has long had a love affair with the PET bottle — both full and empty.

The clear, strong and lightweight plastic outperformed aluminum, steel and glass to hold 76% of all nonalcoholic drinks in the country in 2020, according to the Japan Soft Drinks Association (JSDA). And, thanks to a proactive industry, stringent laws and compliant consumers, Japan was among the top countries in the world for PET bottle collection in 2021, at 93%, and recycling, at 89%, according to the Council for PET Bottle Recycling.

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