California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Recycle Rex

What Happens to Recycled Plastic

How Plastic is Recycled

Plastic ContainersPlastic containers are brought to the recycling center where they are sorted by type and sometimes color. They are crushed together and formed into a huge cube or bale.


Shipping truck.The bales of plastic are shipped to a plastics processing plant.


Manufacturing plant of plastic goods.The plastic is broken apart and shredded into flakes or pellets and then cleaned.

The flakes or pellets are shipped to manufacturers of plastic goods.


New plastic products: picnic bench, t-shirt, toys.The manufacturer melts the plastic flakes or pellets down for molding into new products like:

  • Fiberfill for sleeping bags
  • Plastic lumber
  • Containers for non-food
  • Products
  • Toys
  • Compost bins
  • Rulers
  • T-shirts

Plastic Newsletter | Recycle Rex Home

Last updated: January 1, 2010
Recycle Rex,