How plastic bottles are recycled

Recycling facts for plastic bottles

Recycling facts

Did you know plastic bottles can be recycled into new clothes, such as football kits!

It only takes 25 plastic bottles to make a fleece!

Recycling just 1 plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a light bulb for 6 hours!

Collection and sorting
  • Bottle collection
  • Empty plastic bottles are collected with your recycling and taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), where they are separated from your other recyclable materials.

Squashing and baling
  • Squashed bottles
  • The bottles are squashed, baled and sent to UK reprocessors.

Cleaning and sorting
  • Sorting bottles
  • The bottles are dry cleaned and sorted using an optical beam which separates the different types of plastic.

Grinding and melting
  • Ground bottle flakes
  • The bottles are then ground into flakes which are washed and sorted again. Depending on the kind of plastic, the flakes are either decontaminated using a chemical solution or melted down and sieved to form beads as the plastic cools.

  • stock of filled up bottles
  • These beads and flakes can be melted down again and turned into new products. This can include packaging, drainage pipes, garden furniture or simply new plastic bottles!