What Happens to Plastic Bottles After Recycling?

Single-use plastic bottles are trucked to a “material recovery facility” where they are separated from other materials and sorted into groups of similar plastics. The resulting material is then melted down and used to make new bottles. The result is a product that is cheaper than virgin plastics.

bottle recycling adelaideYou may be wondering what happens to plastic bottles after you recycle them. You need to know several things, including the types of plastic bottles and the types of deposits you will need to pay. However, one thing will always remain the same: no matter how many bottles you recycle, they will lose their quality. When that happens, they are downcycled into fibre or wood replacements. Sometimes, they will require additional virgin plastics to achieve the same quality. Discover in full here:

The recycling of plastic bottles reduces the amount of plastic waste entering landfills and reduces pollution from chemicals. It also creates jobs for those who collect recyclables and work at recycling facilities. Further, these efforts also benefit the environment. The recycling of plastic bottles has a huge economic impact, with approximately six times as many jobs created per ton of plastic bottles as in landfills.

Recyclable plastic bottles are usually made from PET or HDPE. Most local authorities offer collection facilities for plastic bottles. More are adding facilities to recycle mixed plastics. The recycled plastics are then used to produce a variety of products. For example, recycled plastic is used in various consumer products, including furniture and clothing.


The bottle recycling  process can be costly and time-consuming. While most consumers understand the concept of recycling, they might not know the importance of downcycling. In the process of downcycling, recyclable materials are made into new products without sorting. Downcycled items often lack the strength and durability of virgin materials. For example, a plastic bottle can be made into textiles or carpeting or used as a truck bed liner.

The bottle deposit was increased to $0.15 in 1983. The deposit can be redeemed through hand or bar code scanning at MRFs, and environmental groups are pushing for an industry-run deposit return system across Europe. However, big companies have been resisting this policy for years. Nevertheless, some Coca-Cola executives are now advocating it, particularly in Europe.

Proponents of the Bottle Bill point to the program’s positive impacts on roadside litter, the economy, and carbon emissions. They cite the resulting clean materials for downstream processes, the cash flow associated with the bottle deposit economy, and the reduced use of virgin materials. Opponents, on the other hand, voice concerns over the impact of the expanded program on the MRFs and businesses. They also argue that the expanded bill will increase consumer costs for beverages.

A table has been created to calculate the costs of recycling plastic bottles. It outlines the costs involved in processing and marketing bottles. It shows that the price of PET has dropped dramatically from its high in 1995. However, the plastics industry subsidizes the price of PET, and prices should remain high as long as California’s container redemption legislation is in effect.

The beverage industry has long struggled with the issue of empty bottles. As early as 1882, the National Bottlers Gazette reported, beverage companies began conducting raids on households to collect used bottles. At the time, bottles were expensive to manufacture. Homemakers would use them to store food and other household items like ketchup.

In many states, bottle recycling is subsidized by a small fee on drink containers. Customers then get their money back if they return their empty bottles to a redemption centre. This program is already in place in several New England states, including Massachusetts. However, the Bottle Bill in Massachusetts requires an update, as it would increase the fee from five cents to ten cents. It would also expand the types of bottles and cans accepted by redemption centres. It would also remove a glass from curbside recycling.

Recycling plastic bottles is an expensive business. In staying profitable, bottle recyclers must reduce their prices to attract enough volume. In the case of PET bottles, the critical price point was 50 cents per pound. Once recycling costs had reached this price, recyclers could no longer afford to keep raising their prices. Nevertheless, costs are fixed, but the FDA requires a specific minimum intrinsic viscosity to recycle plastic bottles.