How does PET plastic recycling work?

PET bottles are not considered waste. They can be recycled many times. They are one of the most widely used packaging materials in the world. It is easy to identify PET packaging. To ensure that your plastic is 100% recyclable, look for the #1 symbol.

PET can be heated to make a variety of shapes. However, the most well-known are PET water and beverage bottles. These bottles provide safe, convenient, and clean ways to package drinks. PET's low melting point makes it possible to make packaging more easily and sustainably, compared to other materials like glass or aluminum. Before going for PET recycling, you must sort the bottles that are recyclable.

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After being sorted by the consumers, PET bottles can be collected and taken to a recycling plant with other materials. The collection is key as the industry has more recycling capacity than is being used. This amounts to approximately 11 billion PET bottles per annum that could be recycled, but instead, end up in landfills or incinerators.

The recycling plant separates the recyclable materials, and glass and metal are moved into their respective recycling streams.

After all non-plastic waste is removed, high-value recyclable plastics such as PET can be separated by either automatic systems or hands. This is because the presence of other plastics would contaminate the PET recycling process, limiting its quality for reuse, reducing efficiency, and contributing to waste.