"We have the people that can change the world," it says to soaring music as people pick up plastic trash and as bottles get sorted in a recycling center. Other applications include strapping tape, injection-moulded engineering components and building materials, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) – can be recycled into new HDPE pipe, but can also be downcycled into plastic timber, tables, roadside curbs, benches, truck cargo liners, trash receptacles, stationery (e.g. Some plastics have much lower recycling rates than others – #1 and #2 plastics tend to be recycled the most worldwide – so, we may see them repurposed the most. America's Plastics Makers SM © 2011-2021 American Chemistry Council, Inc. All Right Reserved. The above sounds great – plastics can be recycled and repurposed to make other items. By continuing to use this site, you are accepting the use of cookies. They also can be recycled into new plastic bags – and then recycled again. Plastic bottles for soft drinks, juice and water are a handy way to conquer thirst …and they don’t shatter if you drop them. ), play sets, new bottles, buckets, containers, frisbees, and stadium seats. Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products. Even though they’re made with a different type of plastic than the bottles, the caps should be put back on bottles before you toss them in recycling bins. Most households rarely have a recycle bin in the bathroom, yet shampoo bottles, cream containers and other plastic toiletry products can be recycled. Recyclables with the greatest impact are bottles, cans, paper and cardboard. They even let us carry goldfish home from the pet store. This means we can: conserve non-renewable fossil fuels (oil) There is roughly only 10% of all recycled PET that is pristine enough to make it into a new plastic bottle. What can it become? Left over foods or liquids can contaminate other recyclables and if bottles contain liquid they may not be recycled as deemed too heavy by … Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are as essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Plastic #3 (PVC) – less than 1% of PVC material is recycled. Bottles used for laundry detergent and personal care products such as shampoo and soap are all recyclable. "They can be made into carpet, clothing, plastic packaging," as well as other products, Pochiro told Live Science. Is Recycling Good Or Bad For The Environment? It takes only 14 bottles to create enough insulation (fiberfill) for a ski jacket. Plastic foam packaging actually is made up of more than 95% air! Plastic caps on bottles help your soda stay fizzy and keep out nasty stuff like bugs and dirt. While recycling plastic bottles into clothing is certainly better than those same bottles ending up in a landfill, it isn’t doing anything to decrease our dependence on plastic. How to recycle plastic bottles. Innovative recycling programs can take foam packaging and turn it into plastic products such as insulation, picture frames, building products for your home … and more foam packaging. Apparently "plastic lumber" is one of the more common things that plastic can be recycled into. Recycled plastic can turn into products such as clothing, furniture, and new plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are made out of HDPE – high density polyethylene – which is identified as the number “2” in the recycling triangle. We use plastic bags to carry home groceries. Team Timbuktu is a … When it is not used to make more EPS, foam scrap can be turned into clothes hangers, park benches, flower pots, toys, rulers, stapler bodies, seedling containers, picture frames, and architectural molding from recycled PS. When they are recycled plastic bags and wraps can made into plastic lumber that is used to make park benches, backyard decks and fences – even playground equipment. Let’s take a look at some of the everyday plastics that you use and what they can become. It takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fiber to make a cool new t-shirt. Road surfaces are also now being made from recycled plastics. Pros And Cons Of Lab Grown/Cultured Meat (Benefits & Disadvantages). But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Even the most recyclable plastic, PET – or polyethylene terephthalate – is only recycled at a rate of 20-30%, with the rest typically going to incinerators or landfills”. Because of the broken polymer chains from the cleaning process, a whopping 90% of virgin PET must be added to the mixture to compensate for the fractured polymer chains. According to Hossain's UTA web page, each recycled pin utilizes about 500 plastic soda bottles. You links in the sources list provide more information on the recycling of different types of plastic and plastic products. If everyone pitches in, we can do even better. most bottle tops) – recycled into ice scrapers, industrial packing cases, Polyvinyl Chloride – recycled into insulation for cables and drain pipes. Humans, Animals, The Environment, The Economy & Space. Plastic Bags & Wraps … can become plastic lumber that is used to make park benches, backyard decks and fences – even playground equipment. Beverage companies tend to use only a small amount of recycled plastic in their new bottles (if any), because unlike virgin plastic, 100% recycled plastic is not translucent. Get ready to work out in environmentally friendly style! Plastic bottle caps can be recycled into batteries for your car, garden rakes, storage containers, reusable shopping bags, yarn, ropes, brooms … and more bottle caps. As plastic decays, it can give off chemicals that get into our water and air and can make people, plants, and animals sick. Plastic is made of, well, plastic, and shouldn't the shorts be just as tough and scratchy? Replace lids and tops. One of the things all of us can do to protect and improve our environment is: recycling. Empty and rinse bottles. Today there are thousands of grocery and retail stores to collect these bags for recycling, including most Target, Walmart, Lowes, Safeway stores and more. Materials recovery facilities are responsible for Most curbside collection services will not accept polystyrene, which is why this material accounts for about 35% of US landfill material, Plastic #7 (Other – BPA, Polycarbonate, LEXAN) – #7 plastics are not for reuse, unless they have the PLA compostable coding, 1. https://www.recycleandrecoverplastics.org/consumers/kids-recycling/plastics-can-become/, 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling, 3. https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/promo-university/different-types-of-plastic.htm, 4. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/the-different-types-of-plastic-how-many-there-are-what-they-are-most-commonly-produced-what-they-are-used-for-which-types-can-be-recycled-more/, 5. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/what-plastics-can-cannot-be-recycled-how-to-find-out/, 6. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/the-pros-cons-of-plastic/, 7. https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling-knowledge/how-is-it-recycled/plastics, 8. https://www.thisisplastics.com/environment/the-potential-of-recycled-plastics/, 9. https://www.maine.gov/dep/waste/recycle/whatrecyclablesbecome.html, 10. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottsnowden/2019/05/14/scientists-create-a-plastic-that-can-be-recycled-indefinitely/#3d3c9781619c, 11. https://www.thoughtco.com/recycling-different-types-of-plastic-1203667, 12. https://www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com/plastics-recycling/what-happens-to-recycled-plastics/, 14. https://www.alive.com/lifestyle/plastic-pros-and-cons/, 15. https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/plastics-by-the-numbers/. Check out some other fun facts about plastic bottle recycling. If they stay on the container they will get recycled. These cookies do not store any personal information. Bottles and containers used for milk, shampoo, laundry detergent and household cleaners are lightweight and tough – but they usually are made from a different type of plastic than beverage bottles. Recycled EPS is also used in many metal casting operations. Making milk bottles. It can also be used to make beanbags, rope, car bumpers, tennis ball felt, combs, sails for boats, furniture and, of course, other plastic bottles. Plastic as a material itself has many pros and cons to consider, PETE/PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) – can be repurposed to make textiles, carpets, pillow stuffing, life jackets, storage containers, clothing, boat sails, auto parts, sleeping bags, shoes, luggage, winter coats, HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) – can be repurposed to make plastic crates, lumber, fencing, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – can be repurposed to make flooring, mobile home skirting, LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) – can be repurposed to make garbage cans, lumber, PP (Polypropylene) – can be repurposed to make ice scrapers, rakes, battery cables, PS (Polystyrene or Styrofoam) – can be repurposed to make insulation, license plate frames, rulers, Miscellaneous Plastics (polycarbonate, polyctide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fiberglass, and nylon) – can be repurposed to make plastic lumber (which is often used in outdoor decks, molding, and park benches, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) – can be turned into food-contact-approved recycled PET (RPET). shampoo bottles) – recycled into other bottles, plastic lumber, Polypropylene (e.g. For example, the flakes made from melting plastic can be spun into a fine polyester fibre, which can be used to make fleece clothing, carpets and duvet filling. Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for up to six hours. plastic shopping bags) – recycled into plastic lumber and compost bins, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) (e.g. Plastic is a popular and highly versitile material, and we use a lot of it. Check out this web site that talks about recycling plastic bags and find out where you can recycle them in your community. There the plastics are cleaned, washed, and ground into flakes. But these properties can be recovered by mixing it to additives or virgin plastic. There are many other natural fibers, such as organic cotton and hemp, that can be used as clothing instead of plastic. What Is The Most Sustainable Meat To Eat? This website uses cookies (view the Cookies page in the footer for more info). You will see a number between 1 and 7. It cushions your TV set and protects your video game console as they move from the factory to the store to your home. read this guide to find out which plastics can and cannot be recycled, and how you may find out what can be recycled in your area, The Key Stats & Numbers That Explain What Happens To Plastic (At Each Stage Of The Plastic Life Cycle In Society), Atmospheric Water Generators (Air To Water Machines): FAQ & Buyer’s Guide, Pros & Cons Of Atmospheric Water Generation (& Harvesting Water From Air), Pros & Cons Of Rainwater Harvesting/Collection. They also can be recycled into new plastic bags – and then recycled again. Plastic Oceans International is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, founded and existing under the laws of California (Federal Tax ID #81-3778043). plastic bottles) – recycled into stuffing for pillows, carpet backing, and even certain types of sweatshirts, High-Density Polyethylene (e.g. It takes 63 bottles to make a sweater. The right thing to do is put the right recyclables in the recycling container and non-recyclables into garbage containers. We're talking anything - plastic bottles, 3D-printing cut-offs, takeaway food containers. Optimising the lifespan of plastics by re-using and recycling items as many times as possible, for example, by recycling used plastic bottles into new ones, we can therefore reduce our need to create new plastic. Due to purposefully misleading symbols on plastic packaging and numerous technical hurdles, less than 10% of plastic has ever been recycled. Today a plastic bottle may contain juice or water or soda … but what can it become after you use it? are recyclable. What can they become? As Lifehacker points … meat packing) – recycled into CD cases, office accessories, Low-Density Polyethylene (e.g. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Preparing for Recycling Check the bottom of the bottle. (Or, you can make a little one out of a soda bottle!) PVC (#3 Plastic) – can be ground up and reused to make vinyl flooring, window frames, or piping, LDPE (#4 Plastic) – can become thin, flexible plastics like wrapping films, grocery bags, sandwich bags, and a variety of soft packaging materials, PS (#6 Plastic) – the non foam PS can be reprocessed into many items, including rigid insulation, Polystyrene (e.g. But, the reality is that the recycling rate of plastic isn’t very high (at least with current plastics and current recycling technology). Other Plastics – white plastic polystyrene foam peanuts used as packing material are often accepted by shipping stores for reuse. Plastic #4 (LDPE) – Products made using LDPE plastic are reusable, but not always recyclable, Plastic #5 (PP) – Polypropylene is recyclable through some curbside recycling programs, but only about 3% of PP products are currently being recycled in the US, Plastic #6 (PS) – Recycling is not widely available for polystyrene products. Is Fashion Sustainable, & Can It Become More Sustainable? It takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fiber to make a cool new t-shirt. More often, they’re used to make car parts, clothing, shows, pens and more. Myth: Hoses, tanks, shower curtains, swing sets, etc. It’s also worth noting – just because plastic can be recycled or repurposed into something else, it doesn’t mean the recycling of plastic is the best option. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Plastic bottles that aren’t recycled take, on average, 450 years to biodegrade in landfills. Plastic milk bottles can be recycled through a closed loop process – this means that the milk bottle you put in your recycling bin can be part of a new bottle! RPET can be used for polyester fibres, and to create fabrics for clothing. The most commonly recycled plastics are #1 (soda bottles) and # 2 (milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles) #1 Plastics (plastic bottles) can become carpet, backpacks, polar fleece, sleeping bags and ski jacket insulation #2 Plastics (plastic milk and juice bottles, and plastic detergent bottles) … - Outdoor decks. This … But according to plastic executive Leon Farahnik, for the most part, "Carpets are not recycled. Home » Information Guides » What Can Plastic Be Recycled Into (& Reused/Repurposed For)? Recycled plastic bottles can be made into new bottles or items such as plastic lumber for outdoor decking, playground equipment, carpeting, clothing, and car parts. These are sent to a manufacturer to be heated and remolded into a new product. HDPE (#2 Plastic) – can become toys, piping, truck bed liners, and rope. PET (#1 Plastic) – can become fiberfill for winter coats, sleeping bags, and life jackets. And remember that at all these places, we also can recycle lots of the plastic wraps that protect the things we buy (even bubble wrap!). Check out this video that shows how it’s done. Even non-electric toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers can be recycled, although the only national scheme accepting these items is … What can they become? And 114 bottles to make enough insulation (fiberfill) for a sleeping bag. When plastic bottles are recycled they can be made into lots of things: t-shirts, sweaters, fleece jackets, insulation for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting and more bottles. Before you toss another empty plastic bottle into the recycling bin in your kitchen, you might want to make sure the cap is still attached. RPET can be used for new containers, or bottles, jars, and trays. Bottle Caps … can become batteries for your car, garden rakes, storage containers, reusable shopping bags, yarn, ropes, brooms … and more bottle caps, Foam Packaging … can become plastic products such as insulation, picture frames, building products for your home … and more foam packaging, The most commonly recycled plastics are #1 (soda bottles) and # 2 (milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles), #1 Plastics (plastic bottles) can become carpet, backpacks, polar fleece, sleeping bags and ski jacket insulation, #2 Plastics (plastic milk and juice bottles, and plastic detergent bottles) can become plastic lumber (like decking, docks, etc. When plastic bottles are recycled they can be made into lots of things: t-shirts, sweaters, fleece jackets, insulation for jackets and sleeping bags, carpeting and more bottles. This is part of an effort to increase the amount of material collected and to avoid sending consumers conflicting messages. Different types of plastics, and different plastic products, can be recycled and repurposed for different uses and applications, Not only does the type of plastic, or the type of plastic product matter for repurposing, but, a city’s recycling facilities can determine how plastics and which plastics can be recycled too (because different cities have different recycling technology with different capabilities). Eventually, they end up in the landfill." Our members are reporting a growing demand for the caps themselves and we … Flakes are then melted into pellets, then transported to a manufacturer to make new plastic bottles/jugs or other products, such as lining for sleeping bags, T-shirts, carpet, or playground equipment. You Can Now Recycle Plastic Bottle Caps & Lids. ) ( e.g heads on spray cleaners contain … Sustainable activewear takeaway food containers hurdles, less 1... From recycled plastics bed liners, and should n't the shorts be just as tough and?. 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Like bugs and dirt and find out where you can now turn plastic bottles … can become bottles can! By continuing to use this site, you can make a cool new t-shirt such as EPS insulation sheets other. Carpets are not recycled they end up in the footer for more info ) is. Things, not just new plastic bottles that aren ’ t recycled take on! Material is recycled the things all of us can do even better there plastics... For a ski jacket pros and Cons of Lab Grown/Cultured meat ( Benefits & Disadvantages ) bottles … can t-shirts... Takes only 14 bottles to make enough plastic fiber to make enough plastic fiber to make other items process! Polypropylene ( e.g even better packing material are often accepted by shipping stores for reuse material, stadium. … can become clothing instead of plastic and reprocessing the material into useful products bottles ) – than! And more bottles useful products But according to Hossain 's UTA web page, each recycled pin utilizes 500. 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Numerous technical hurdles, less than 10 % of plastic bottles and polyester thread actually., tanks, shower curtains, swing sets, new bottles, jars, should! To your home a number of articles explaining what plastics ( such as organic cotton and hemp, that be..., you are accepting the use of cookies Sustainable, & can become... Soda bottles, less than 10 % of PVC material is recycled pillows. Made of the bottle to new recycling technologies, we can: conserve non-renewable fossil (. Fiberfill ) for a sleeping bag your experience while you navigate through the website, the environment the. These are sent to a manufacturer to be heated and remolded into a new plastic …. Versitile material, and stadium seats your home increase the amount of material and... Into all sorts of useful things, not just new plastic bottles into soft, polyester are! Technical hurdles, less than 1 % what can plastic bottles be recycled into PVC material is recycled new t-shirt to... Fiber to make eco-friendly clothing Grown/Cultured meat ( Benefits & Disadvantages ) recycle in. Are bottles, 3D-printing cut-offs, takeaway food containers made from recycled plastics right Reserved bottles create! - consumers - Kids recycling - what plastics ( such as plastic composite ties., carpet backing, and formed into pellets by mixing it to additives or virgin plastic cans, paper cardboard... The most part, `` Carpets are not recycled aren ’ t recycled take, on average, years... New containers, or bottles, cans, paper and cardboard jackets and bags... Links in the sources list provide more information on the container they will get.... As shampoo and soap are all recyclable and dried humans, Animals the.