PET Bottle Recycling Explained
What is PET?
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is an inexpensive, lightweight plastic. You will most commonly associate it with single use soft drink bottles.
PET bottles can be recycled for reuse, once in the correct form you can bale them to receive a cash rebate. This blog will explain this process.
The industry surrounding PET bottles is constantly improving its environmental record, PET plastic bottles have been redesigned so that they are 30% lighter than 15 years ago and increasing amounts of recycled plastic are used to manufacture the bottles themselves.
There’s a real need for recycling rates to continue to grow and the soft drinks industry urges people to recycle their plastic bottles and not discard them as litter. Bottle deposit schemes have been both popular and effective across Europe for many years now. The UK is now looking to adopt similar schemes.
The Scottish Parliament has voted in favour of a deposit return scheme for Scotland, meaning that Scotland will soon be the first part of the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers. The scheme is set to go live in Scotland on 1 July 2022. The scheme will make it easier for everyone to recycle their used bottles and cans, including all drinks sold in PET plastic, metal and glass.
How do I recycle PET bottles for a rebate?
In order to receive a rebate for your PET bottles they need to be baled. We offer various machines that can bale PET bottles.
X Series Balers
X-series balers are our heavy-duty line of machines that are suitable for numerous types of challenging materials, including PET bottles. They are designed to handle products with high memory retention. It’s worth noting that the bottle caps need to be removed before entering vertical balers.
As you can see from the photos below, the press plate on the X range baler is designed to prevent twisting under pressure – the X cylinders are designed to compact right to the bottom of the chamber which starts the compaction process a lot earlier. This removes the memory of the product earlier in the compaction cycle, thus providing an improved bale. Furthermore, X-series balers have the lowest noise level in the market – an appreciable bonus for your employees and their working environment.
The standard B range press plate is a flat press plate, products with high memory tend to twist the press plate hence why X range balers are recommended for PET bottles. The compaction process does not start until the chamber is full, which causes unstable bales for PET bottles.
Our flap door has been specially developed for handling PET Bottles, it works a chute for the bottles, allowing the bottles to be thrown in directly either separately or in full sacks.
Semi Automatic Balers
Horizontal balers are ideally suited for businesses that produce large volumes of PET bottles. Due to the increased quantity businesses often require a large feed hopper and a need to load by an automated system. We would recommend a semi automatic baler for companies handling 2-4 tons of PET bottles per day.
We offer three models within our range of semi automatic balers, all of which produce mill size bales. In terms of differences between the models it’s largely down to throughputs. Our technical advisors are on hand to answer any queries you may have. There is the option to bale PET bottles with their tops remaining on if you were to use a PET perforator.
A PET perforator is often used when a site wants to bale PET bottles without removing the caps. Two rotating spiked shafts move in the opposite direction of each other to draw in the PET bottle. The perforated material is then transferred directly onto the conveyor of a horizontal baler ready to begin the bale process.
Fully Automatic Balers
Fully automatic balers are used to compact large quantities of recycling materials to make stable bales. Stable, stackable bales help you to maximise your storage space, improve on transportation efficiency and a reduction in costs. The system can be fed continuously, either manually or via conveyors.
We recommend a side tying fully auto baler as this prevents bottles becoming trapped in the needle slots within the press plate which further causes snap wire.
Again if you would like to bale the bottle with their lids remaining on a PET perforator would be required.
How do I know which machine is right for me?
All machines are capable of creating PET bales however choosing the right machine comes down to throughput.
X range balers are ideal for throughputs up to one ton per day, a semi automatic baler would be ideal for 2-4 tons per day and anything higher we would recommend a fully automatic baler.