SEP 03, 2016 11:34 AM PDT

What happens to your recyclables?


So you recycle. Good, we all must! But are you aware of what happens to your plastics directly after you toss them into the right bin?

First the plastics are sorted by their numbers because those materials are marketed differently. Some of us do this by hand and some towns and cities have single-stream recycling, meaning that you can put all of your different types of plastics in one container and a machine will sort it later. Once sorted, the plastics are pushed to a baler facility by a conveyor belt and compacted into cubes that can be loaded onto trailers and sent to market. At market, there are various uses for the plastics. Some of the plastics are remade into bottles, some are used by pharmaceutical companies, some are even used to create electricity!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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