Hi, I’m Monty! I come from a planet where we don’t recycle plastics.
You should see the mess!
So I’m learning from the experts here on Earth on what I should be doing.
Come on, you can help me find out more.
It’s estimated that 36 million plastic bottles are used EVERY DAY in the UK but only 20 million are recycled. Recycled bottles can be made into a wide range of things – from plastic packaging to fabrics – and yes, you’ve got it – more bottles! Let’s follow the journey of a bottle!
STEP 1: BRING OUT YOUR BOTTLES!
Plastic bottles can be collected from many different places, like your home and school.
Make sure they are empty, if they have contained sugary drinks or milk give them a little rinse out, and make sure to put their caps back on – that’ll save space in the bin and make sure nothing is left behind!Embed from Getty Images
STEP 2: THE SORTING HAT
OK, there aren’t any hats – or wizards involved, but when the collected bottles are taken to a special sorting facility, they’re sorted out with plastic bottles of the same kind grouped together.
That helps with the recycling process.Embed from Getty Images
STEP 3: SCRUB A DUB DUB
Next up – cleaning!
All the bottles are washed in a large chamber – a bit like a big dishwasher, at very high temperatures to remove any dirt and left over liquid.Embed from Getty Images
STEP 4: GET SHREDDING
After cleaning, the bottles are shredded into plastic flakes, some of which might get melted into a pellet shape.Embed from Getty Images
STEP 5: PEELING GOOD
Many bottles have labels telling us what’s inside and where they’re made.
During washing, labels are washed off and separated from the bottles.Embed from Getty Images
STEP 6: FEELING THE HEAT!
When it’s time to create something new, the plastic pellets or plastic flakes are then melted down into a thick liquid called molten plastic. It looks a bit like gooey syrup!Embed from Getty Images
STEP 7: GETTING MOULDY…
The molten plastic is then poured into a mould which is a special container in the shape of what is to be made – whether a bottle or something else like a plastic plate or perhaps a toy.
The molten plastic takes the shape of the mould as it cools down and becomes solid.Embed from Getty Images
STEP 8: CHILL OUT!
Once cooled and solidified, any little bits of plastic that are sticking out are trimmed away to make the bottle smooth and even.
It’s like cutting off the edges of a cookie to make it nice and round.
Quality checks make sure it’s the right size and shape, and ready to be sent to a drinks’ producer.Embed from Getty Images
STEP 9: BACK IN THE GAME!
Finally, the recycled plastic bottle is ready to be used again! At a drink producer, the bottles can be filled with whatever drinks they make – perhaps water, fruit juice, squash or pop.
By recycling, we give the plastic a new life instead of throwing it away!Embed from Getty Images
Out of this world!
Make sure you always recycle your plastic bottles and check that your family is on the right road for recycling. You can find out more at Pledge 2 Recycle.
Learn more top tips by clicking here!