July 5, 2021
What can plastic be recycled into? Uses of recycled bottle

When you recycle plastic bottles, they can gain new life in a variety of products. Think: fabrics and carpeting, toys, toothbrushes, and building materials. But that’s not the only reason consumers and corporations should be concerned about recycling plastic containers. When customers understand all the reasons why recycling plastic bottles is a good idea, they’re more likely to make recycling plastic part of their lifestyle.  

1) It’s good for business.

Consumers want more sustainable products, and they’re willing to pay more money for them, according to new surveys by Boston Consulting Group. As consumer demand for sustainable products increases, so does manufacturers’ use of bottles that can be easily recycled. Some industry reports released in 2020 indicate that major manufacturers of cleaning products, foods, and beverages are developing plans to make more of their plastic packaging recyclable. This should help keep more plastic bottles out of landfills and oceans. 

2) It benefits the planet.

What can plastic be recycled into? Uses of recycled bottle
According the the EPA consumer recycling has increased from 6% to 35% from 1960 to 2018, but only a small percentage of that is plastic or plastic bottles. Graphic from the EPA

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), consumer recycling has increased from about 6 percent of total waste in 1960 to 35 percent in 2017. But only a small percentage of that recycling is plastic, about 4 to 6 percent. In fact, around the world, climate leaders are pushing to increase the amount of plastic that is recycled. Every bottle you recycle is one less piece of plastic in our landfills and oceans. It only takes a few recycled bottles to create something new, so every bit helps.

3) Recycling plastic puts an end to single-use.

Recycling plastic bottles disrupts the idea of single-use plastic by offering new and exciting products that give the plastic a second (or third or forth) iteration. This extends the life cycle and usefulness of plastic over time. 

4) It’s becoming easier to recycle plastic bottles.

One of the challenges of plastic bottle recycling is the numbering system and symbols on product packaging. Facilities sort plastics by number and use different techniques to recycle. However, as technology improves, more communities are accepting a wider range of plastic in their recycling facilities. And some retailers are offering special drop-off locations for specific types of plastics, like food wrappers and shampoo bottles. This lowers the barrier to recycling and makes it easier for consumers to understand what to do with their used bottles. 

5) Recycling plastic bottles leads to innovative new products.

Performance apparel made of recycled plastic with stretch and antibacterial enhancements
Performance apparel made of recycled plastic with stretch and antibacterial enhancements

Many of the new textiles and products created from recycled plastic bottles actually perform better than their non-recycled counterparts. For example, SAYA uses advanced bottle recycling to create SAYA Stretch which offers more stretch and recovery, durability, and moisture management. That, combined with antibacterial properties makes it a top choice for athletic and technical apparel.  

For more information about SAYA’s recycling solutions, contact

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