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How are Jersey's plastic bottles recycled?

On 22nd November 2018, on a fact-finding visit for a Scrutiny Review 'Reducing use of plastics in Jersey', the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel visited Jayplas recycling plant to find out how Jersey's plastic bottles are recycled after being exported to the UK. Continue reading to learn more about the recycling process.

Step 1: The bottles are transported from Jersey in bales every 5-6 weeks to the Jayplas Plastic Recovery Facility in England. Here the bales are unpacked and loaded onto conveyor belts ready for sorting.

Step 2: The plastic bottles are mechanically sorted by grade and colour. Only PET and HDPE grades of plastic are kept, any lower grades are removed and sent for incineration.

Step 3: The sorted plastic is then re-baled by colour (e.g. blue, green, white and multi) and grade. The grade and colour type determines what sort of plastic material they will be recycled into. The darker colours, for example, are commonly recycled into pipes. The lighter PET grade plastic is recycled into plastic food packaging.

Step 4: The lighter coloured PET grade plastic is transported to the Jayplas PET Wash and Compounding Facility.

Step 5: Any paper residue on the plastic bottles is removed and sent for incineration.

Step 6: The plastic bottles then undergo a hot wash at 85 degrees centigrade.

Step 7: The plastic bottles are then processed through a mechanical crusher which crushes the bottles into small flakes (about the size of a cornflake).

Step 8: To make newly recycled clear plastic sheets, the plastic flakes then go through a mechanical plant to produce the sheets.

Step 9: The plastic sheets are cut to size ready for distribution to another factory and ready to be cast into packaging molds.

Step 10: The end product! The plastic sheets are molded into plastic food tray packaging which is then sold to leading UK supermarkets.

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