Archive for the 'petrochemicals' Category

Water and oil

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Some interesting information about recycling plastic bottles:
“The vast majority of water and plastic soda bottles consumed in the world are made of PET, aka polyethylene terephthalate. And perhaps contrary to expectations, this is one petroleum byproduct that is eminently recyclable. Indeed, and here’s a second baffling peculiarity, producers of ground-up recycled PET “flake” cannot keep up with demand. Prices per pound are strong, propelled by Chinese buyers who will buy all the flake or bales of flattened bottles that they can get, to turn into pseudo-polyester and other materials. ”

The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) reports that the total number of pounds of plastic bottles and jars available in the United States for recycling in 2005 was 5.075 billion, of which only 1.170 billion pounds, or 23% were collected and sold for recycling. As the price of oil and natural gas has increased, using recycled resins as a feedstock in the production of plastic products has become increasingly competitive. While only a very small portion of oil demand is accounted for by plastics production, recycling is an easy way to save some oil.

Another interesting point:
“It takes 20-40 percent less energy to manufacture plastic grocery bags than paper ones. And, since plastics are lightweight and take up so little space, it is much more efficient to transport them. It takes seven trucks to deliver the same number of paper bags as can be carried in one truckload of plastic bags. ” But best of all is to bring your own bags!