How plastic bottles are recycled

Step 1 - MRF

Step 1

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.

Step 2 - plastic bottles squashed and baled

Step 2

The bottles are squashed, baled and sent to UK reprocessors.

Step 3 - plastic flakes sorted

Step 3

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

Step 4 - plastic formed into beads

Step 4

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.

Step 5 - new bottles

Step 5

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!

Recycling Facts