How to Sort a Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are a ubiquitous part of modern life, used for everything from storing beverages and condiments to holding personal care products and cleaning solutions. They are a convenient and lightweight option, making them popular for both manufacturers and consumers. However, the environmental impact of plastic bottles cannot be ignored, and proper sorting is essential to ensure they are recycled and reused appropriately.

Plastic bottles are produced from hot filling lines, which means they can withstand high temperatures and are suitable for hot liquids. This also means that they are made from specific types of plastic, which can vary depending on the manufacturer and the intended use. Common types of plastic used in bottle production include polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Top tips for successful sorting plastic bottles

  1. Check the label: Most plastic bottles have a recycling symbol on them. This symbol indicates the type of plastic used in the bottle. You can use this information to sort the bottles according to their type.
  2. Look at the shape: Different types of plastic bottles have different shapes. For example, soda bottles are typically tall and slender, while milk jugs are wide and squat. Sorting the bottles according to their shape can make it easier to recycle them.
  3. Sort by color: Some recycling centers only accept certain colors of plastic bottles. For example, some centers only accept clear or transparent bottles. Sorting the bottles by color can help ensure that they are recycled properly.
  4. Rinse the bottles: It's important to rinse the bottles before recycling them. This helps to remove any leftover residue or liquid that may be in the bottle.
  5. Flatten the bottles: Flattening the bottles can help to save space when storing and transporting them. This can also help to make the recycling process more efficient.
  6. Separate the caps: Some recycling centers may require you to separate the caps from the bottles before recycling them. This is because the caps may be made from a different type of plastic than the bottle itself.
How to sort a plastic bottles