What They Become

When you recycle your empty beverage containers, they can be turned into many things. You’ve seen their potential around Manitoba, but that’s just the beginning of what they can become.

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Aluminum Cans

Aluminum cans are very easy to recycle. Aluminum can be melted down and made into new products over and over again because it never breaks down or loses quality. In fact, 75 per cent of all the aluminum produced since 1888 is still in use today. (Source: Alcoa)

What are recycled cans turned into?

Most recycled aluminum is used to make new cans. From the time a can arrives in a recycling facility, it takes just 60 days to melt it down, turn it into a new can, fill it with a new beverage and place it back on store shelves. Recycled cans are also used to make airplane parts, building facades and bicycles.

How do recycled cans save energy?

Nearly 35 per cent of the world’s demand for aluminum is met with recycled material. It adds up to significant energy savings. For example, recycling one can saves 95 per cent of the energy used to make a new one from virgin ore.

Plastic Bottles

There are two types of plastic beverage containers – thinner PET bottles often used for soda and water, and thicker HDPE bottles often used for juice. Both types are extremely valuable to recyclers because they can be turned into all kinds of new plastic products.

What are recycled plastic bottles turned into?

Recycled PET bottles can be turned into new containers for beverages, salad dressing and household cleaning products. Many of the large beverage producers are now producing PET bottles with increasing amounts of recycled PET – even up to 100 per cent recycled content! It can also become the fabric in your clothes, the fiberfill in your coat, and the upholstery and carpeting around your house. In fact, recycling just five two-litre bottles can produce enough polyester for a square yard of carpet.

Recycled HDPE is turned into sturdier products like plastic lumber, patio furniture, roadside curbs, benches and truck cargo liners. It’s also used to make recycling bins – talk about full circle!

How do recycled plastic bottles save energy?

Plastic bottles are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Recycling one tonne of plastic bottles saves 3.8 barrels of oil. It also saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space. Each year, the economic and environmental costs of running a landfill increase. Every kilogram of material we keep out of the trash helps extend the life of our landfills and create more sustainable communities. Bottles simply don’t belong in landfills.

Glass Bottles

It takes a lot of minerals, energy and water to make glass from raw materials. Fortunately, glass can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. We can save one tonne of natural resources by recycling one tonne of glass. (Source: Recycle Alberta)

What are recycled glass bottles turned into?

Recycled glass is primarily used to make new containers, highway marking beads and the glass sand used to purify water. In Manitoba most glass bottles are crushed and used as aggregate for roadbase or water and sewer installations. Recycled glass bottles can also be turned into countertops, flooring, tile, landscaping stones and bricks.

Drink Cartons

Juice boxes and cartons can contain up to three different materials: a paper structure, an aluminum lining and a plastic coating. Recyclers use a machine called a hydrapulper to separate the material in the cartons so they can be turned into different products.

What are recycled drink cartons turned into?

The drink cartons are baled and shipped to processors where the cartons are shredded in the hydrapulper and then turned into pulp which is then made into cardboard boxes and tissue paper. With this process, 80 per cent of the original carton is recycled.

How do recycled drink cartons save energy?

Just as with plastic bottles, recycling empty drink cartons can greatly extend the life of our landfills. For every tonne of drink cartons diverted from the trash, we save approximately nine cubic yards of landfill space. Recycling this same volume of drink cartons also saves 174 litres of oil.

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