Today, we will be reading and discussing polymer recycling approaches. Here are some interesting facts I found online:
The PET bottle — the bottle consumers know as #1 soda bottles — was patented in 1973 by chemist Nathaniel Wyeth, brother of distinguished American painter Andrew Wyeth.
The first PET bottle was recycled in 1977.
The average household generates about 17 pounds of used PET bottles each year. That is equal to the amount of used aluminum.
Eight two-liter bottles equals about a pound of PET.
When PET bottles are crushed and tied into 48-inch bales, one bale can hold about 4,800 bottles and weighs about 1,200 pounds.
How is PET recycled?
Five PET bottles yield enough fiber for one extra-large T-shirt or one square foot of carpet. (Half of all polyester carpet manufactured in the United States is made from recycled plastic bottles.)
Twenty-five two-liter bottles can make one sweater.
Five two-liter PET bottles yield enough fiberfill for a ski jacket.
It takes 35 two-liter PET bottles to make enough fiberfill for a sleeping bag.
Used milk jugs (#2 HDPE) become:
Lumber substitutes (like those green plastic park benches)
Base cups for soda bottles
Toys, pails and drums
Traffic barrier cones
The American Plastics Council reports that consumers recycled almost half of all PET soda bottles produced in 1994. About one-quarter of all milk jugs were recycled.