Saying plastic bottles are not trash is an understatement.
Look for the number 1 stamp on the bottom of the bottle and you’ll be sure that what you’re holding has far more value recycled than in the ground.
The number 1 indicates that the bottle is made of PET short for Polyethylene terephthalate. It is the type of plastic used to make rigid packaging, including bottles, and is completely recyclable.
Recycled PET (rPET) is turned into polyester staple fibre and filament, packaging, and also new bottles, thus ‘closing the (recycling) loop’ and enabling ‘cradle-to-cradle’ packaging solutions.
Making a contribution to a cleaner environment and a better life for all is easy.
Here are 10 basic things you can do:
1. Don’t simply throw away anything made of PET with other rubbish or as litter on the street.
2. Rinse PET containers, in your used dish water if possible, to avoid nasty smells and drawing unwelcome insects before you put them in a bag.
3. Pick up PET bottles that you see lying around and put them in a recycling container. Teach your family to do the same.
4. Separate PET plastic items from other waste, and put them out separately in a clear bag on garbage collection day. The bag will be collected by the municipality or a PET collector.
5. Take your clear bag of separated PET to your closest collection point or drop-off point if your municipality does not pick it up separately.
6. Look out for special plastics collection containers at many public places such as shopping centres. These are clearly marked.
7. Discuss recycling with others. Everyone should know about the importance of recycling things that can be re-used, especially plastics.
8. Join recycling schemes at your local school or other recycling initiatives in your community.
9. Visit www.petco.co.za to find out more about PET recycling.
10. Visit www.mywaste.co.za to find the closest collection point to drop off your PET for recycling.