Here’s a quick look at the journey beverage containers take:
Beverage containers are created in all shapes and sizes and from a range of materials—plastic, aluminum and glass, for example. The materials used may be new or they may be reclaimed through a recycling process. After the container is manufactured, it is ready to be filled, then labeled, sealed, packed and shipped for distribution and sale.
Distribution and Sale
Beverages are distributed, usually in bulk, to retailers. You might pull them off a store shelf or choose them from a vending machine or refrigeration unit. When you purchase most ready-to-serve beverages in this province, you also pay a beverage container deposit.
Consumption and Disposal
Once you’ve bought a beverage and enjoyed it, the best option—for you and for the environment—is to recycle. Return your used beverage containers to a Green Depot to be recycled.
Sorting at the Green Depot
After you return used beverage containers to a Green Depot, staff count and sort the containers based on the material they are made from. Once sorted, the containers are placed in large bags and sent to a processing plant.
All used beverage containers in our province arrive at the processing plant in Mount Pearl, NL, where they are prepared for market. Employees use a large machine to compact the different types of containers into large cubes, called bales. Then, the bales of aluminum, steel and different types of plastic are shipped to recycling plants.
One bale of aluminum may contain 18,000 aluminum cans and weigh over 1,000 pounds!
Transformation into Something New
The bales of material travel to different facilities in different parts of North America to become something new and usable. There are many ways to transform each type of material to make new products.