Depending on the type of material they're made from, recycled beverage containers become a range of other items. Some are simply turned back into another beverage container, while others can be made into clothing, carpeting or even fiberglass insulation for your home.
Aluminum Cans are recycled right back into new aluminum cans. The process of recycling used aluminum containers and turning them into new beverage containers takes less than 60 days. 95 – 99% of aluminum weight shipped is recycled, with the remainder being wire, strapping, moisture and contaminants.
Clear Plastic Containers
Clear PET (polyethylene terephthalate) containers – a thermoplastic polymer resin of the plastic and polyester family – are recycled into flakes or pellets for use in the manufacture of new, food grade beverage containers and clothing.
Coloured Plastic Containers
Coloured PET containers and those made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) are recycled into pellets for use in the manufacture of new non-food plastic products.
Glass containers are crushed and the glass is formed into tiny glass beads. In Alberta, the glass is spun into thin strings and is recycled into fiberglass insulation. In other parts of the world, the glass may be put into a mix used for sandblasting material or added to street paint (clear glass only) to make it more reflective. 96.75% of glass containers are recycled, with only 3.25% deemed unusable.
Tetra Brik Containers
Tetra Brik containers (part of the Polycoat group) are made up of three material types: paper, aluminum and plastic. During recycling, each container goes through a hydro-pulping process that separates the three different material types. 80% (fibres or paper pulp) is recycled into other paper products. The remaining 20% (aluminum and plastic materials) are also recycled.
Gable Top Cartons
Gable Top cartons (part of the Polycoat group) are separated through a hydro-pulping process into two material types: paper and plastic. This results in 80% of the paper pulp being recycled into paper products such as bath tissue, cardboard and writing paper.
Bi-Metal Beverage Containers
Bi-Metal beverage containers are smelted down and recycled into construction re-bar, car parts and grinding rods for mining. 95% of bi-metal is recycled with only 5% unusable.
Drinking Pouches & Bag-in-Box
Drinking pouches and Bag-in-Box bladders are used as alternative fuel sources due to scarce end-use markets. Bag-in-Box cardboard packaging is fairly coarse, so is recycled into paper objects like egg cartons and cardboard boxes.