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									F A N TA S T I C

  We         cannot carry liquids without
 some type of container. Plastic bottles are
 ideal because they are strong, safe, do not
 break and are excellent at keeping the fizz
 in fizzy drinks.

 Only a small amount of plastic is used to make each
 bottle. Bottles are extremely lightweight which helps
 save fuel - up to 40% less fuel is used to transport
 drinks in plastic bottles compared to glass bottles.

 Did you know that plastics are made from oil? Plastic
 packaging uses only a very small amount, about 2%
 of all crude oil produced. Plastic bottles use less
 than a sixth of this.

 In Britain we use about 275,000 tonnes
 of plastic bottles in the home every year -
 that works out at about 15 million bottles
 every day. More and more people are able
 to recycle their plastic bottles through schemes such as
 those assisted by RECOUP. Help recycle plastic bottles
 and conserve the use of our natural resources.

 There are lots of good reasons why we use
 plastic bottles and why we are now recycling them.
 If you want to find out about plastic bottles and how
 you can get yours recycled, now's your chance.

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                              it out! • What’s New! • Polymer Puzzles!
                        Sort it out! • What’s New! • Polymer Puzzles!
M ore than one in three UK local authorities
    runs a plastic bottle collection scheme. This
    could be either a "kerbside" collection
    (where recyclables are regularly collected
    from your home) or a bottle bank scheme.

    The first step to recycling your plastic
    bottles is to start collecting.

    All household plastic bottles, with only a few
    exceptions, can be collected for recycling. So that
    means start saving your drinks, milk, shampoo and
    household cleaning bottles where you have a local
    collection scheme.

    Most plastic collection schemes only collect plastic         All household plastic bottles can be recycled except
    bottles. You wouldn't put newspapers into a glass            brown drink bottles, such as the bottles used to hold
    bank. Putting the wrong materials into collection            beer. These bottles need several types of plastic to
    banks makes recycling more difficult. Please, help           keep the beer fresh, which makes recycling difficult.
    make plastic bottle recycling a great success by             Bottles found in the garage or garden shed, such as
    following the instructions at collection points carefully.   lubricating and motor oil bottles, and bottles which
    Any items which are not plastic bottles are removed at       have held pesticides, horticultural chemicals and other
    a later stage: for example, egg cartons; plastic car         hazardous chemicals should not be collected for
    parts; ice cream tubs; toys and plastic bags. These          recycling.
    items are made with different types of plastic
    (polymers) such as polystyrene and polypropylene.            Finally, don't forget to take the caps off and
    Different polymers have different properties; when           squash the bottles because then you can fit
    recycled they are generally processed separately.            more in collection skips and collection
                                                                 vehicles. This helps to reduce costs and
                                                                 conserves energy.

                                                                 By following the simple instructions
                                                                 above you can be confident that
                                                                 everything you deposit will be recycled.
                                                                 You will give the companies reprocessing
                                                                 collected plastic the best chance to develop
                                                                 technology and expand the range of
                                                                 products made from used plastic bottles.

                                                                 Once you have separated your bottles into a suitable
                                                                 container, collection vehicles pick up the plastic
                                                                 bottles and transport them to a specially designed
                                                                 sorting centre, known as a "materials reclamation
                                                                 facility" or "MRF".
               At the MRF
               At the MRF the bottles are sorted into their three main polymer types. Loose plastic bottles are
               moved along a conveyor belt where people manually sort them into one of three polymers: PET,
               HDPE or PVC. Sometimes, advanced machinery automatically sorts the bottles; this is much faster
               than sorting by hand.

               Bottles are sorted because there are currently few uses for plastic bottles which are all mixed
               together, however, there are many exciting uses for plastic bottles once they are separated into their
               polymer types.

Sorting the bottles also increases their
value - individual polymer types can
be sold at a much greater price than
mixed plastic bottles.

Once sorted, the bottles are squashed
into tightly-packed blocks. Powerful
baling machines squash the air out
of the bottles and crunch them
together to make large solid cubes
called bales. By squashing the
plastic bottles into bales it is
possible to transport up to
twenty times more plastic
on a lorry than is possible if
the bottles are not squashed!
This saves on energy used to
transport the bottles and
reduces expenses for the
recycling scheme.

      The bottles are now ready for
          taking to the reprocessing

                        At the reprocessing factories the bales are broken apart and the bottles are then cut
                        up into small flakes. These look a little bit like small, colourful corn flakes. Next they
                        are washed in a big whirlpool bath. Water rushes round and cleans the plastic
                        flakes so well that any labels and dirt are washed off. The clean plastic flakes are
                        still wet, so giant industrial dryers blow the flakes until they are dry. Air is also used
                        to blow the flakes along pipes and finally into a bag or box, ready to be sold on to
                        companies who will use this clean plastic in new items. The water used to clean the
                        plastic is filtered and then recirculated, which makes good environmental sense.
                                                                                                What's New?
Recycling plastic
bottles does make
a difference.
Recycling just one plastic bottle can save the same amount of energy needed to power a 60
watt lightbulb for 6 hours!

Plastics bottles can be recycled into a wide range of new and exciting end products:

Recycled PVC is used to make drainage pipes, electrical fittings and clothing.

Recycled PET is used to make egg cartons, fibre filling for sleeping bags, duvets and
anoraks, industrial strapping, hard wearing wall coverings, tufting for carpets and rugs, and
new bottles. In a fascinating development, recycled PET bottles are now used to make fleece
clothing. It takes approximately 25 soft drinks bottles to make one fleece jacket.

Recycled PE is used to make household products,
compost bins, garden furniture, pipes, signposts
and kerbside recycling boxes. It is also put
back into new plastic bottles, which can
be recycled again and again.

What is so exciting about
plastic bottle recycling is
that we are finding more
and more uses for the
collected plastic.

Who knows what else
we will soon be able
to add to the list?
Sort                       Sorting plastic bottles is very easy - just answer the questions in the chart
                           and follow the arrows to find the type of bottle. It works nearly every time.

                           More and more companies are now putting a special code on the bottle
                           labels or base of the bottle to make sorting even easier. If you see this code
                           then you'll be doubly sure what polymer the bottle is made from.

Out!                                      v
                                                                            Is the bottle

                             Is there a hard white
                     YES     spot in the middle of
                               the bottle’s base?

        v                                 v                                           v

        1                                  3                                          2
     PETE                                   V                                     HDPE
      Polyethylene            Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)                   High Density Polyethylene
  terephthalate (PET)         bottles are often used to                       (HDPE) bottles are
bottles are transparent      hold cordials, still mineral                      opaque (not "see
  and typically used            water, toiletries and                       through") and can be
  for mineral water,                cooking oils.                             coloured. HDPE is
 cooking oil, cordials        They are clear and have                      typically used to make
   and particularly,          a seam running around                        bottles for washing up
    for fizzy drinks.                 the bottle.                        liquids, detergents, fabric
     PET's code is 1.         PVC's code number is 3.                      conditioners, milk and
                                                                          fruit juices. Look out for
                                                                             the code number 2.
                                 ?                                                          ?
 What have you learnt so far ?

 Try these few quick brain teasers and find out - answers below

 1.    What are the three main types of plastic used to make bottles?
 2.    What must you do before putting any plastic bottle in a kerbside box or recycling bank?

 3.    How many of the following items can be made from recycled plastic? Garden furniture, bottles, floor coverings, clothing,
       drain pipes, anorak fillings, fence posts, carpets, electrical fittings.
 4.    Which raw material is used to make plastic?

 5.    What type of plastic bottles are opaque?
 6.    Six plastic bottles weigh the same as one glass bottle. If the glass bottle weighs 300 grammes, how heavy are the
       plastic bottles?
 7.    Look around the room and list the objects you can see which are made out of plastic. How many objects are there?

                                                                        It's important not just to know about

 What                                                                   recycling but to do it! Here are a few
                                                                        suggestions on what you can do now:

                                                                        Find out where your nearest plastic bottle recycling

 Can                                                                    bank is. Your Local Authority's Recycling Officer

                                                                                                                                  Answers 1.PET, PVC & HDPE 2.Take the tops off, rinse and squash 3.All of them 4.Oil 5.HDPE 6.50 grammes 7.Lots and Lots ...
                                                                        should be able to tell you. Telephone or write to your
                                                                        local council to get more details.

 You                                                                    If you live near a plastic bottle bank or have your
                                                                        recyclables picked up by a kerbside collection
                                                                        scheme, use the facilities that have been provided.

                                                                        Make sure that you rinse out bottles and squash
                                                                        them before you deposit. If the bottles need sorting
                                                                        out into PET, PVC and HDPE make sure you put the
                                                                        right bottles in the right banks - look out for

 Now ?
                                                                        instructions to help you.

                                                                        Look out for recycled plastic items in the shops. Only
                                                                        if we buy products made using recycled material will
                                                                        we be able to increase recycling levels.

                                                                        We hope you have found this news sheet interesting.
                                                                        If you would like any more information on plastic
                                                                        bottle recycling visit the RECOUP internet site at the
                                                                        world wide web address:
9 Metro Centre, Welbeck Way, Woodston,
          Peterborough PE2 7WH                                
 Tel: 01733 390021 Fax: 01733 390031
  E-mail:                                    or write to the address shown opposite.

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