PET is actually the abbreviation for polyethylene terephthalate which is a kind of polyester used in clothing. The bottles are constructed from a very dense plastic used to store liquids including water, soft drinks, shampoo, milk, etc.
These bottles are a favorite for storing beverages but have proven to be a burden. More than 25 million tons of these bottles are produced every year. Even though PET is a recyclable product, some experts believe that less than 60% of these bottles are ever collected. On top of that, only 6% of these bottles are recycled and turned back into new bottles.
Another big part of the problem, there are other PET products like colored bottles and black trays used for salads are actually very difficult to recycle. Hopefully, this will change in the very near future.
BP’s first Infinia recycling plant is now under construction in Naperville, Illinois. If everything goes as planned, it will be up and running by the end of the year.
Recycle Plastic Instead of Accumulating It
Charles Damianides, VP of petrochemicals technology licensing and business development said BP is committed to developing and commercializing this new technology to get these products out of landfills and out of our waterways.
The facility in Naperville is under construction in order for BP to try some things out. It’s the first step toward a “global rollout” and he believes this innovation can eventually contribute to making all kinds of polyester waste turned back into recyclables.
BP will not have any problems getting their hands on used PET products to recycle but it would be even greater for the economy if they can get their hands on the thousands and thousands of bottles taken out of landfills and those floating around on our waterways and in our oceans.
We are all looking forward to seeing what the plant in Naperville can do to help clean up our environment and put these recyclable products to good use!