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NewsHome > News >

Recyclable ≠ recycled

Time:2019-09-20 16:35 Author:Suny Group

 After a single use, nearly every bottle either ends up going straight to a landfill or becoming some other sort of plastic — mainly textiles like polyester and fleece for clothes and carpets.

But according to plastic executive Leon Farahnik, for the most part, “Carpets are not recycled. Eventually, they end up in the landfill.”

In an effort to make the beverage industry less wasteful, his company CarbonLite processes used plastic bottles into new bottle-grade plastic for clients like Nestlé and PepsiCo. Nestlé’s Arrowhead spring water, for instance, now makes 90% of its bottles from 50% recycled plastic.

“Fifty years from now, when I am not around, people will be digging landfills and thinking we were crazy people — how could we create landfills rather than recycle?” said Farahnik.

About 6 billion pounds of plastic bottles get thrown away every year, and only about 30% of them are recycled, according to IBISWorld analyst Nate Gelman. Of that 30%, just one-fifth is processed to create fresh plastic bottles for use in food and beverage.

How recycled plastic is repurposed boils down to cost: Converting recycled plastic into fiber for use in apparel and carpeting “is less energy intensive and less laborious” than the process required to convert it to food grade plastic for bottles, Gelman said.

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