Whatever the material used – PET or HDPE (*) – whether they are see-through or opaque, plastic bottles can and should be recycled. Not everything is recycled in the end (a third of garbage or so) but recycling has been getting better.
In the entire world, about 200 billions of plastic bottles are used for water, fruit juice, milk or other products. Their consumption has doubled in the past ten years and the recycling numbers differ between the countries. In France, more than 5 out of 10 bottles are recycled, and their neighbors are doing even better than that! 7 out of 10 plastic bottles are recycled in Belgium against 8 out of 10 in Switzerland!
Selective sorting in some countries helps their performance in recycling because they are well organized and the consumers are aware of its importance, offering a new life to petrol derivative products.
For the United States, in 2012, plastic bottle recycling went up 6.2%. That means that for each of the 317 million people in the country, one-half pound of plastic bottle recycling was done. But it doesn’t mean that more plastic is being used by Americans, which shows that the United States have a capacity to recycle more used plastic than they actually collect!
Every year, 130 billions of plastic bottles aren’t valued. They are incinerated at best, which allows heat retrieval, or discharged at worst, which has a large effect on Mother Nature in the worst ways. It is known how much oceans and other water sources are suffering, as well as marine wildlife. Hundreds of years are needed for a plastic bottle thrown into nature to erode completely, but biodiversity is still left scarred.
But countries are trying to change that. In Beijing, for example, it is possible to pay your metro tickets with plastic bottles. One machine can collect up to 400 bottles before it needs to be emptied, and you need 20 of them to fully pay one ticket. But the idea is great, knowing that Beijing’s 19.6 million inhabitants can produce up to 18,000 tons of garbage.
Millions of tons of reusable plastic are wasted here! A ton of petrol and 500m3 (17 657 cubic feet) of natural gases can be saved for a ton of plastic bottles recycled. To avoid dangerous and toxic pollution as well as make considerable savings, it is crucial to sort correctly in able to recycle correctly and avoid wasting these secondary raw materials.
Wrapping papers and bottles are sorted and packed in sorting centers before being transformed into reusable plastic glitter that can be used as textiles (fleece, quilts, car seats, pens, etc.) as well as an efficient insulation, which is new. It’s not natural, but it’s green.(*) PET – Polyethylene terephthalate; HDPE – High Density Polyethylene