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The recycling process of a plastic bottle

Plastic bottles are made with, among other materials, petroleum and a large amount of water, more than they will later contain. They are used and if they are not thrown into the corresponding container, the yellow one, they last in the environment for centuries, as they take a long time to degrade and, in the meantime, they pollute. But what happens when they are thrown into the corresponding container and arrive at the recycling plant? What is the method to recycle plastic bottles?

At AgroCorrn we want to bring you even closer to the world of recycling and, therefore, we have prepared this article to explain the process of recycling a plastic bottle .

You may also be interested in: Bicycles made with plastic bottles
  1. What is a recycling plant
  2. How to recycle a plastic bottle
  3. Which plastics are recycled and which are not

What is a recycling plant

It is important to first know what recycling plants are , since this is where various parts of the recycling process of a plastic bottle take place . Recycling or recycling plants are facilities where different materials are processed, such as different plastics, paper and cardboard, glass, etc., in order to take advantage of them once more, repeating the cycle as many times as possible to take advantage of the useful life. real of each material.

In these plants the materials are separated and from there they are taken to specialized plants, except for the large recycling plants that can also do the work of recycling the different materials to the end on their own.

How to recycle a plastic bottle

Now that we know what a recycling plant is, we focus on how plastic is recycled and what it is used in the case of plastic bottles. These are the steps that are followed to recycle plastic bottles:

  1. Recyclable plastic bottles are thrown into the yellow container to be recycled.
  2. The trucks from the recycling plants collect the bottles and take them to each plant.
  3. The bottles are pressed and large blocks are formed.
  4. The bottles are washed, their labels removed, dried and classified according to the type of plastic and what it is going to be used for.
  5. The bottles are crushed into small pieces and washed and dried again.
  6. Now like this, in flakes, what do you do with the recycled plastic from the bottles ? Well, they are beginning to be used in a new manufacturing process for products such as new plastic bottles, containers, textile fibers, clothing such as polar linings, toys, and so on.

Explained in more detail, we can say that to recycle plastic bottles from the moment they are thrown into the indicated container, they are collected and hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles arrive at the recycling plant, they follow this process.

Then, they are pressed so that they take up less space and large rectangular blocks are formed, as if they were large blocks of bricks, so that they can be handled more comfortably. From there, the real recycling process begins, transforming a huge number of plastic bottles into other objects, whether they are other bottles, other containers, etc.

First of all, the bottles are washed. In this process, large amounts of water and detergent are necessary, which in some recycling plants can be constantly reused to spend less. Afterwards, the labels that are attached to the bottles, one of the most polluting materials, are removed.

The bottles, once they are clean and without labels, are dried and classified. PET bottles go on the one hand, PVC bottles on the other, PE, ABS and other types of plastic on the other. In addition, in some plants, an optical recognition system separates them by color.

Once the bottles have been separated by type, and first passing through a cleaning line in which operators make the last disposal of the bottles that cannot be recycled for some reason. Those that can be recycled are crushed , leaving the plastic reduced to small pieces that resemble tiny broken glass or a kind of plastic flakes. In this part of the process, a liquid is generated that must be separated. The small pieces of plastic have to be washed and dried one more time.

With the material taken from this basic process, it can now be sold to other companies or used within the recycling plant itself to make new plastic bottles.

Which plastics are recycled and which are not

If you wonder what plastic can be recycled , you might be interested to know that there is a code called the Plastic Identification Code or RIC ( Resin Identification Code ). This is used to identify and classify the plastic materials that can be recycled. The code consists of symbols and numbers.

The symbol is a triangle made with three arrows that indicate the reuse and recycling of the material, a number that can range from 1 to 7 and some letters, such as PET, PVC or HDPE, among others. These can be disposed of in the yellow container or in the clean point , the rest of plastics that do not carry these codes must be taken to the clean or green point .

In addition, in this other AgroCorrn article we will tell you everything in detail about which plastics are recycled and which are not .

If you want to read more articles similar to The recycling process of a plastic bottle , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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