A Health and Welfare Ministry panel released a report Wednesday calling for raising the recycling rate of plastic drink bottles to 50 percent by fiscal 2004, ministry officials said.

It also proposed that makers of beverages and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles be required to accept used PET bottles as long as they can be recycled, and that commercially viable technology for making new bottles out of used ones be developed by fiscal 2003.

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