Recycling Plastic Containers
The Life Cycle of Recycled Plastic Containers
Life After the Recycle Bin
Once plastic containers reach the recycling facility they are sorted by type (PET, HDPE, LDPE, PVC, PP). The bottles are then washed and granulated into flakes. The flakes are allowed to dry before they are made into new products. Recycled plastics are used for such items as new bottles and containers, carpeting, fiberfill for pillows, sleeping bags, ski jackets, clothing, auto parts and floor tiles.
Most plastic containers have a recycle code located on the bottom of the container to inform the consumer what type of plastic it is. Knowing what type of plastic container you have is important to knowing if it is recyclable and how to recycle it. For more information regarding plastic recycling codes see the Recycling Codes Help/Info page.
Facts About Recycled Plastic Containers
- Recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Only 7 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2009 was recovered for recycling.
- PET from the grocery store to your closet? May sound like and odd idea but it is true! It takes about five plastic bottles to make enough fiber filling for a ski coat, 25 recycled bottles to make a fleece coat, or 26 bottles to make a polyester suit.
- If every American household recycled just one out of every ten HDPE bottles used, it would keep 200 million pounds of plastic out of landfills.
- Think throwing out a plastic bottle will make it go away? A plastic bottle will take 700 years before it will even start to decompose.
- Americans use four million plastic bottles every hour, but only one quarter of them will be recycled.
- Enough plastic wrap is used every year in the US to cover the entire state of Texas.