'How does plastic get recycled?'
Have you ever wondered how a plastic bottle gets another life?
56 billion plastic bottles are made in factories each year. They use 4% of the world's fossil fuel and crude oil. Only 20% of the bottles they make are recycled. The rest go to landfill and the ocean.
The plastic gets put into bales and get transported by trucks in700-1000 pound bales. The bales are broken apart and put on a conveyor belt under a ultraviolet light looking for contaminated bottles which they put aside. Next the plastic bottles are put in a rotating drum with knifes in a ¼ to ⅜ gap between them on a screening monitor.
Then they go on to a paper separator with a continuous air flow the paper flies away and Polyethylene terephthalate chips (PET) stay put. Next the PET chips are taken to a different conveyer belt which takes them to a water bath with soap heated at 170 degrees to give them a good wash. Then it goes to a dewatering station to get all the soap off a rinse bath is next.
Finally the chips are taken to a rinse bath and the plastic chips sink to the bottom and PET chips float to the top and get skimmed off the top to a small conveyor belt that drops them into a heated dryer.
After being dried the chips are put to sale.
The PET chips are made back in to clothes and carpet. I mean wow. The cycle it goes through be be good but saving the oceans a little bit at a time. 1 in 6 plastic bottles make it to this stage. Plastic bottles are make not to disintegrate so do the right thing and next time you have a plastic bottle take the extra step and put it in the bin .