Once your plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays have been recycled they could become a picnic bench, football shirt or children’s toy.
How are plastics recycled?
After being collected from your recycling bin, your plastics are transported to a sorting facility, where they are separated from other recyclable materials like paper, cardboard, tins, cans and glass.
The plastics are then taken to a reprocessing facility where they are cleaned and sorted by plastic type and colour. They are then either melted down directly and moulded into a new shape, or shredded into flakes first and then melted down before being processed into granulates, ready to be used again.
Not all things made from plastic can be recycled, even if they are made from the same type of plastic as recyclable items (shown by the recycling numbers on plastics). You can check if an item is recyclable where you live by using the search tool. Non recyclable plastics can contaminate recycling, so should be disposed of as rubbish.