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Find places to recycle plastic bottles at RecyclerFinder.com

Around the world people are recycling plastic bottles. Find places to recycle plastic bottles at RecyclerFinder.com

If you look in your cupboards and in your refrigerator, you’ll find any number of plastic bottles. While many of plastic bottles end up in landfills, these plastic bottles can be recycled over and over again into useful products.

Before you recycle your plastic bottles, be sure to separate the caps from the bottles as these are of a different plastic. Wash them out and remove labels if so required by local regulations before sending them to be recycled.

The bottles are collected and hauled to a plant set up for recycling. If you turn over your bottles, you’ll find numbers and/or icons on the bottom. These identification codes designate different polymer types of material. Two identification codes used on the bottom of plastic bottles are the numbers “1” and “2”. Polyethylene terephthalate will show a “1,” while high-density polyethylene will show a “2” on the bottom of the bottle. Once the bottles are inside the recycling plant, they are sorted out in accordance with their type of polymer material.

After the bottles have been organized according to type of their material, they are once more organized according to color. Similar bottles are then crushed and compacted by huge machines that mold them into bales. These bales are sold to business that specialize in processing the bottles into flakes for the next step in the process.

Polyester fibers are created from bottles with a “1” designation. These become fabrics for clothing, carpet and new bottles. Milk cartons, grocery bags and things like handy, usable bins are created from bottles with a “2” designation.

Unlike glass bottles, plastic bottles are popular because they don’t break when dropped. Unfortunately, they also don’t disintegrate in landfills. However, these bottles can be recycled over and over to provide new products from the old.

Find places to recycle plastic bottles at RecyclerFinder.com!
plastic bottle recycling

View of over 2 million plastic bottles for recycling.

When people recycle, they protect the environment and prevent valuable materials from going to waste. However, it’s important to check the recycling codes on bottles, tubs, bags and other items. Proper sorting improves efficiency and reduces the operating costs of recycling facilities. Plastic manufacturers use seven different codes.

#1 PETE/PET: Polyethyl tetraethylenei. Many beverages come in plastic bottles of this type. If your city doesn’t accept these bottles, you may be able to bring them to a redemption center.

#2 HDPE: High-density polyethylene. Manufacturers often use this plastic for rigid containers. Most recycling programs accept this type. You may have to recycle number two plastic bags at a grocery store.

#3 PVC/V: Polyvinyl chloride. Various chemical containers and other products contain this plastic. Only some towns and cities accept it. Remember to thoroughly rinse out any chemical residues.

#4 LDPE/LLDPE: Low-density polyethylene or linear low-density polyethylene. This more flexible plastic is used in some bags and condiment bottles. Most cities recycle it.

#5 PP: Polypropylene. This relatively common plastic is found in some cereal bowls and containers for refrigerated foods. You might be able to recycle it in a major town or city.

#6 PS: Polystyrene. This material can come in the form of plastic or foam in disposable cups, trays and cartons. It is particularly harmful to the environment. In most areas, it must be discarded.

#7  OTHER: Unlike the other numbers, seven doesn’t refer to a specific plastic. The material may consist of multiple plastics or a less common type. Few cities recycle it.

Metal, glass and cardboard often lack code numbers. If you need to sort metals, use a magnet; it won’t stick to aluminum. A symbol with a phone number usually means that you must take the item to a special location to recycle it. Contact your local government for specific sorting guidelines.

Sources

1. Argonne National Laboratory, http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/environ/ENV003.HTM
2. New York City, http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/resources/plastics_codes.shtml

Find places to recycle plastic @ RecyclerFinder.com!