When faced with the choice of whether or not to put your plastic water bottle in the garbage or recycling bin, most people will pick the receptacle closest to them. Despite the countless pamphlets and discussions to be found on the advantages of recycling, not everyone understands the significance and the importance of recycling. Plastics, especially, are very easy to recycle and even many public parks and other recreational sites make it a point to provide proper bins for plastic water and soft drink bottles. The next time you are faced with the choice of placing your plastic bottle in a recycling bin or in the garbage, you know which one to choose.
Just to have a better idea of the path the plastic bottle for recycling travels on, its important to begin at the beginning of the bottles life. Most plastic bottles when they are manufactured from virgin plastic or from partially recycled plastics are given the plastic recycling code of either a one or a two. That means the material they contain are easily recycled and any recycling in the area should have the capabilities to perform that function. Consumers can choose to have curbside pick up service where available or make the effort to take the plastics to the recycling center themselves. Either way, the next steps are crucial in limited the amount of space plastics take up in landfills and the amount of resources and energy used to produce plastics.
Once the plastic bottles to be recycled reach the recycling center, machines take over the hard part. The plastics are separated into types and thoroughly washed and dried. Nothing will mess up the recycling equipment or the process quite like sticky pop or debris clogging up the machinery. After everything is cleaned and ready to go, the recycling plastic bottles are broken down. Depending on the type of cut the recycler wants, the plastic can end up cut into small pieces, cut in ribbons, or broken into large sections.
To keep things simple, the rest of the process for plastic bottle recycling includes melting the pieces down and adding any necessary chemicals to the mixture. From that point, the plastic is placed in molds or given its final shape from other types of equipment. Both plastic recycling codes one and two often are made into products like clothing, carpets, and even new plastic products like toys and plastic bags. With all the various applications for plastic bottle recycling, your choice should be clear on whether or not your bottle belongs in the recycling bin or the garbage can.