Plastics are a broad category of containers. At our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), plastics are separated into several different categories based on the type of plastic and in one case, the color of the plastic.
#1 Plastics, or PET (polyethylene), are sent to become new plastic packaging. Typically, bales of plastic are sent to a company that grinds plastic bottles into flakes, washes them, and then produces plastic sheeting that is sold to the company that will make it into the new packaging. Ground PET is also sold to companies that manufacture clothing, carpeting, and fiber fill for sleeping bags and jackets.
Purchasers can change, but some examples of companies we ship PET to include Harmon Associates Corp. and Mohawk.
For more information about plastics recycling and educator resources, visit www.napcor.com
#2 Plastic bottles and jugs, or HDPE (High-density polyethylene), become new food and beverage containers, drainage pipe, and lawn and patio furniture. Our MRF separates HDPE bottles and jugs into two categories: color (i.e. detergent bottles) and natural (i.e. milk jugs). Bottles are sent to facilities that grind the plastic into flakes which are washed and then sold to companies that use the flake to create new products.
Purchasers can change, but some examples of companies we ship HDPE to include Tabb Packaging.
#5 plastic tubs, or PP (Polypropylene), become new food containers. These plastic tubs are baled and shipped to companies that will process them in a way similar to how #1 and #2 plastics are flaked and sold.
Purchasers can change, but some examples of companies we ship PP to include KW Plastics.
What about plastics with numbers 3, 4, 6, and 7?
At this time there are not markets for these items. They are not recyclable in your curbside cart and should be placed in your garbage cart.