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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. Sponsored by RECOUP member DuPont Polyester Melinar Resins Only DuPont make 2 DuPont Polyester Melinar 1 E HDP E 3 PET inside V v it out! • What’s New! • Polymer Puzzles! Sort it out! • What’s New! • Polymer Puzzles! Sort 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. Start Collecting 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 factory. 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. It 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 YES Is the bottle transparent? NO Is there a hard white YES spot in the middle of the bottle’s base? NO 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. ? ? ?PolymerPuzzles!? 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. Do 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 http://tecweb.com/recoup/index.htm Tel: 01733 390021 Fax: 01733 390031 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the address shown opposite.
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