The Journey of a Recycled Plastic Bottle

When recycling a plastic bottle, there are various stages which take the bottle from its original state to its usage in other objects. Bottles that are made with PET (Type 1) and HDPE (type 2) plastic are collected on a weekly basis. Brown Recycling provide a DMR (dry mixed recycling) collection service to their customers in the commercial/industrial and construction/demolition sectors, to encompass PET and HDPE which are then recovered in their MRF (material recovery facility).

The stages of this journey are detailed in the following steps:

  1. Bottles are placed into DMR wheelie bin and taken to waste management centres.
  2. At the waste management centres, PET (Type 1) plastics and HDPE (Type 2) plastics are separated, before being washed, pelletised to make solid blocks called ‘bales’, and extruded following their melting down.
  3. Following this process, the bales are shredded into flakes. These flakes are then washed clean in a whirlpool bath in order to get rid of any labels, dirt or other substances on the surface of the plastic.
  4. Following their cleaning, the flakes are sorted into two groups – those which float in water and those which do not.
  5. The flakes are dried by giant industrial dryers, before being blown into bags or boxes through pipes. At this point, the plastic is ready to be transported and passed on to recyclers and manufacturers for use.
  6. The recyclers or manufacturers then use the plastics to make new objects.

The new objects created from recycled plastics can include:

  • more plastic bottles
  • polyethylene bin liners and carrier bags
  • flooring and window frames
  • CD cases
  • fencing and garden furniture
  • fleeces
  • office accessories
  • fibre filling for sleeping bags, duvets and blankets
  • seed trays
  • water butts, composters and garden sheds

Statistics show that an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of plastic packaging is used in the UK each year, with an estimated 540,000 tonnes of plastic bottles used by UK households each year; 33 million bottles every day. Of these, it is estimated that in 2012 alone around 19 million bottles were recycled every day; a solid effort from the UK as a whole.


Here at Brown Recycling, we are committed to our aim of having zero waste to landfill, which is why we provide a fully comprehensive, expert recycling service to our customers throughout Staffordshire. For more information on how we can help you and your household with recycling, simply get in touch with our friendly team of experts today – we’re happy to help with any enquiry.


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