October 16, 2014
If ever a debate could be started, the subject of caps or no caps on recyclable bottles would rate in the top 10. As recycling becomes more of a normal routine for the environmentally conscious, next comes the question of how to properly prepare. The answer is finally here. Rinse out the bottle and replace the cap. The plastic bottle caps that are found on recyclable bottles, are now acceptable for processing.
It only makes sense to recycle an entire bottle, cap and all, from a recyclable industry point of view. Although the type of plastic material of the bottle and cap are of a different nature, both are recyclable. By recyclable companies changing the process of how plastic bottle caps are treated, time and effort is saved.
Recyclable plastic bottle caps are commonly made out of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Plastic bottles are PET containers, a lighter and more flexible form of plastic. The new recycling process throws the whole bottle, cap and all, into a grinder. Next, a wash cycle is used to clean away any debris. During the bath, the bottle flakes settle to the bottom and the cap flakes float on top. Scoop off the lid material and recycling of two separate plastics can take place.
Since this is a fairly new method, introduced by The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR), not all communities are set up for this system. As time goes on, however, the APR expects this type of sorting to become permanent and widespread. If your community recycling center has yet to hear this great news, invite them to go to Plastics Recycling for more information. It’s a great site that offers more answers to questions on plastic bottle caps and containers can be found. There will always be subjects to debate on, but now caps versus no caps is closed.