How a Bottle Is Recycled
As a credential clothing company, we care very much about recycling and reuse, which is why we love this infographic released in 2013 by Kids Discover. It explains very simply the recycling process for plastic bottles.
Step one: Collection
“Bottles and other recyclable material are picked up from homes, schools, and businesses and taken to a recycling facility.”
“Modern” recycling (the collection of waste by a municipality or private company) dates back about 100 years. Prior to the industrial revolution, however, recycling, repurposing, and reinventing unwanted items was commonplace.
Step 2: Sorting
“Bottles and Containers are sorted based on what they’re made of and sometimes what color they are. The items then go through a machine that shreds them.”
One of the first modern waste-sorting facilities was founded in New York City in 1897 (source).
Step 3: Melting
“The shreds are washed to remove any impurities, pieces of labels or leftover contents. They are then dried and melted.”
Remember that scene in Toy Story 3 where Woody and the gang are sliding toward an inferno through bits of plastic? That’s what this process is (minus the choking sobs of viewers everywhere). Sorting the plastic by type is imperative because different types of plastic have different melting points and chemical compositions.
Step 4: Flaking
“The melted plastic is processed into flakes, which can be made into a variety of plastic products.”
You may not realize this, but many of the items you own (and wear!) are made of plastic. The tiny hairs on tennis balls? Plastic. Your favorite t-shirt? Cotton blended with plastic. The carpet in your bedroom? The comforter on your bed? Your toothbrush? Plastic, plastic, plastic.
Step 5: Next Applications
“The flakes can be spun into very fine, threadlike material in a process similar to how cotton candy is made. Companies use those “threads” to make a wide variety of items, including carpets, clothing, or filling for jackets and quilts. Depending on the type of plastic, they can also be make into new (well, sort of new!) plastic bottles.”
If you really pay attention, you will begin to see plastic everywhere. It doesn’t always go by the name “plastic”, though, and that’s why sometimes it’s hard to identify. Sometimes it’s called “acrylic” or “polyester” or any number of other names.
EcoGoodz is a wholesale used clothing supplier in the USA. We offer many different types of used clothing in bulk including credential clothing, mixed rags, bulk linens, wholesale used shoes (capsacks and gaylords), as well as baled soft toys and gaylords of hard toys.
For more information about credential clothing please contact us.