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Aug 13th, 2020 by Admin

How Are Plastic Bottles Recycled?

Plastics make our life easy ! They are used in almost most of the products we use on a daily basis. Be it food and beverage containers, trash and grocery bags, cups and utensils, children’s toys and diapers, and bottles for everything from mouthwash and shampoo to glass cleaner and laundry detergents.

But have you wondered the threat it poses to our ecosystem? Too much!

Hence we have published this article to help you understand the recycling process of plastics and how you and we can help to save the Earth from discarded plastics.

Why Recycle Plastic Bottles?


Thinking why to recycle plastic bottles? Well, there is plenty to support the reasoning of recycled plastic bottles. Here we have noted down a few of the reasons why you should start recycling plastic bottles today:

1. Plastic use is on top of the heap

According to the reports of the Environmental Protection Agency, the use of plastics is growing by leaps and bounds. They estimated it to be 1% in 1960, which has risen to 13% in 2013. This increase in the use of plastic has led to it becoming a major part of the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW).

As per the statistics, America is the largest consumer of plastic bottled water contributing to 13.7 gallons of water sold in 2017. This trend is ever-growing, and there is no stoppage unless we take the initiative.

2.  It conserves natural resources and energy

According to Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley- researches from the Pacific Institute of California, studies prove that to produce a pint-size bottle of water requires a triple amount of energy required to produce the same amount of tap water. Isn’t that frustrating?

Therefore, recycling plastic bottles can help the nation save numerous resources, and energy needed to concoct plastics.

3. Recycling Plastics Saves Landfill Space

We all know that plastic bottles don’t decompose easily. It takes thousands of years for them to be discarded. It ends up in the environment and seeps into the soil and water creating more havoc.

Did you know recycling a ton of plastic can save 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space? This will keep them away from polluting marine life.

Plastic bottle recycling process


Recycling plastics are undertaken in many steps. Here is a detailed step-by-step discussion to help you understand the process of recycling plastic. It’s important to note that certain steps can be combined or omitted depending on the requirements and the materials.

1. Collection

Plastics are of different types. Therefore, the foremost step in recycling plastics is to collect them.

Businesses and restaurants and public places play an important role in this step. How? Their decision to dispose of plastics away from the normal trash makes the process easier and better and effective.

Governments should start a recycling collection system that will visit people at their houses and collect all the plastic waste. This will make the entire process convenient, thus showing people to work together with the government to curb the issue.

2. Sorting

Plastics are of different types, therefore after collection the next step is to sort the different types of plastics. This is done with the help of machines, based on the multitude of properties that are dependent on the recycling facility or the final product that is being made from the plastic.

Sorting is not that complicated, and it depends on various factors like- the color, the type, the material it is made of, and many more. This step is of utmost importance because different types of plastics recycling in different ways and sorting them out helps to categorize and identify them better.

3. Washing

After sorting the plastics, the next step is to wash the plastics. This helps to get rid of all the impurities mixed with the plastics such as labels, adhesives, etc.

The main goal of this process is to segregate the non-plastic waste that cannot be recycled. This process also saves the final product from losing its integrity and structure.

4. Shredding

After washing the plastics the next step is to process it through shredding or granulating. This process helps to break the plastics into smaller granules. Wondering why is this step important? Because after shredding the surface area of the plastic increases and it helps in the journey further to recycle and transport the materials.

This process also helps to remove all the impurities that were missed on the third step. It is usually done with the help of magnets and metal detectors that pull through any leftover metals.

5. Identification and Classification of Plastic

After breaking the plastics into small tiny pieces, the next step is to identify and classify them. Different types of tests are conducted in this process.

The first test conducted is to determine the density. It is undertaken by floating the plastics in a tank full of water. The plastics with higher density sink at the bottom and the lighter floats on the top.

The next test is conducted to determine air classification. It is conducted to understand how thick or thin the particles are.

The most common tests that all plastics go through are determining their melting point and colors, and it helps in the recycling process better.

6. Compounding

This is the final and most exciting step of the process. This is the step where the plastics are made into recyclable material that can be used in the future.

In this process, the plastics are smashed and melted together to form plastic pellets which are then used to produce other plastic products. The plastics are also used in different plants that specialize in different processes.

Remember, the better we understand the process, the better we can help the nation in the process of recycling plastics.

What happens to recycled plastic bottles?

Half of the recycled plastic bottles are used in making different products ranging from skateboards to reusable bags to even sunglasses. Some also get turned into packaging material while others are used in clamshell containers and more.

There are endless opportunities to make use of recycled plastic bottles to save our ecosystem and it’s absolutely worth it.


Recycling plastics is not complicated and neither demands much. If we all can come together and take the responsibility individually then we can do wonders.

Remember this is our planet and it is OUR duty to save it!

About Plastic Collectors: Plastic Collectors are a team of passionate people that cares for the planet and have taken the initiative to reduce plastic and poverty. Our goal is simple – to encourage people to collect plastic and get it recycled. We provide rewards and remuneration to the people who collect the plastic. Learn more about the initiative or click here to join the cause.

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