How Do You Convert a Plastic Water Bottle Into Recycled Plastic?

  • May 31, 2011

As an environmentally-friendly promotional products marketer, we sell hundreds of thousands of recycled plastic water bottles, pens, lanyards, flying discs, plastic bags, memo boards and more each year.

I wanted to include some images to help my customers and readers to better understand how we can go from a clear soda bottle or water bottle, and turn it into another bottle – or into a pen, for that matter.

Since eco-friendly promo products are what we sell, we tend to take the entire process for granted, as do many of my clients…but the process is amazing.

First, plastic bottles are collected by waste collector and/or recycling centers

Next, the bottles are usually taken to a centralized material reclamation facility, where they are separated by the type of material (HDPE, PET or PVC). This can be done by machine or by actual people –sometimes both ways.

These bottles are then compressed into blocks, which are taken to a specialized facility then grinds the plastic into small chips. It will then go through a process where the paper labels, dirt and other waste are removed during a spin and heat cycle.

The chips are then converted into small plastic pellets, where they are processed either as food-grade pellets (clear) or non-food grade, where factories can purchase them for re-use, in such items as new bottles, carpet, plastic furniture, clothing, medical equipment, plastic bags or film and thousands of other products. Click on the link to the right to see hundreds of promotional products made from recycled plastic.

Did you know that approximately 2.5 billion pounds of bottles were recycled in 2010?

Plastics are petroleum-based, so we can do better in increasing plastic recycling…and supporting companies that use recycled plastics.

We must do better.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today.


Step 1: Gathering Plastic Bottles For Recycling

Step 2: Grinding Down Bottles Into Chips

Step 3: Grind Down More Into Smaller Chips

Step 4: Convert to Plastic Pellets: Non-Food Grade

Step 5: Convert to Plastic Pellets: Food Grade

  • Category: green marketing
  • Tags: converting plastic bottles, how do you make recycled plastic, how is recycled plastic made, recycled ad specialties, recycled imprinted bottles, recycled promo products, recycled promotional products