PET Bottle Recycling

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Bottles made of PET are recycled to reuse the material out of which they are made and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. In many countries, PET plastics are coded with the resin identification code number "1" inside the universal recycling symbol, usually located on the bottom of the container. PET is used as a raw material for making packaging materials such as bottles and containers for packaging a wide range of food products and other consumer goods. Examples include soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, detergents, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products and edible oils. PET is one of the most common consumer plastics used. Post-consumer PET is often sorted into different color fractions: transparent or uncolored PET, blue and green colored PET, and the remainder into a mixed colors fraction. The emergence of new colors (such as amber for plastic beer bottles) further complicates the sorting process for the recycling industry. This sorted post-consumer PET waste is crushed, pressed into bales and offered for sale to recycling companies. Transparent post-consumer PET attracts higher sales prices compared to the blue and green fractions. The mixed colour fraction is the least valuable. The Further treatment process includes crushing, washing, separating and drying. Recycling companies will further treat the post-consumer PET by shredding the material into small fragments. These fragments still contain residues of the original content, shredded paper labels and plastic caps. These are removed by different processes, resulting in pure PET fragments, or "PET flakes". PET flakes are used as the raw material for a range of products that would otherwise be made of polyester. Examples include polyester fibres (a base material for the production of clothing, pillows, carpets, etc.), polyester sheets, strapping, or back into PET bottles etc. Worldwide, approximately 4.53 million tons of PET were collected in 2007. This gave 3.64 million tons of flake. 2.6 million tons were used to produce fibre, 0.3 million tons to produce bottles, 0.37 million tons to produce APET sheet for thermoforming, 0.17 million tons to produce strapping tape and 0.12 million tons for miscellaneous applications. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







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