Should You Flatten Plastic Bottles For Recycling?

Should You Flatten Plastic Bottles For Recycling?

You’re probably used to wiping out containers, removing labels, and washing some materials if you’re a responsible recycler who always separates your plastics, paper, and glass. However, one guideline you’ve likely been adhering to while visiting a bottle recycling depot in Calgary or elsewhere is unnecessary and may even harm the environment. If you have a whole bunch of leftover bottles, you can take them to your nearest bottle depot in Calgary or wherever you live.

Recycling myth

Recycling professionals have long been instructed to remove the bottle caps from plastic water bottles and flatten them before placement in the recycling bin to prevent processing equipment clogs. It turns out that none of those actions is any longer necessary and might even be harmful. The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) makes this statement. “The cap’s substance is recyclable. When anything can be recycled, why throw it away?”

Is flattening of bottle preferable?

One additional modification: in the past, we were urged to flatten the bottle before reattaching the cap. We were informed that this aids the bottle’s identification during the sorting process. The Association of Plastic Recyclers, however, has further guidance. Bottles that have been flattened may not have been adequately sorted and may have ended up in the paper stream. Containers can be sorted appropriately by maintaining a 3D form in a return-it bottle depot in Calgary or elsewhere.

A modern take on recycling

The recycling process now grinds bottles into flakes before thoroughly washing them, thanks to technological advancements. A water bath float/sink procedure is then used to separate the cleaned cap material from the bottle material. In contrast to the flakes, the tops will sink. The two materials are then reused to create new products. Industry groups are now urging customers to keep the cap on.

How to recycle bottles properly?

It is essential to recycle plastic water bottles daily. Understanding the recycling dos and don’ts is crucial to ensure that we maintain a healthy ecology for future generations. For sustainable water usage, we always advise refilling a water bottle, whether made of stainless steel or BPA-free.


Put the cap on

Most individuals overlook that most localities only allow recycling if the water bottle’s lid is also included. Separated caps may inflict machinery damage, sending it to the dump and interrupting operations. Replace the cap after you are done to avoid this happening.

Crush the bottles

To eliminate all the air from bottles, they must be crushed. But this totally depends on what bottle depot you are going to because many return-it depots in Calgary or elsewhere do not accept crushed bottles due to sorting issues. Once you’ve completed this, make sure to put the cap back on, reducing the requirement for expansion by saving more space at the processing facility.

Do not rinse thoroughly

Bottles containing liquid do not require additional time to be spent rinsing out. Ensure that they are empty before placing them in a recycling bin.

Do not bag the bottles

Most people frequently need help bagging their plastic water bottles and other items. Bagged items prohibit the procedure from being finished and require an additional stage in the recycling process. It will help to put the water bottles in a recycling bin or another container without restrictions.

Recycle outer packaging

When you purchase plastic water bottles from the shop, they typically have an outer wrapper made of plastic to keep them secure. Please keep this separate from the recycled plastic bottles. You can drop off the plastic film at participating organizations, where it will be processed with other plastic grocery bags or packaging.


It would help if you ideally were using metal straws and reusable water bottles. However, the best ways to recycle plastic bottles are rinsing them out, putting on a new cap, throwing them in the trash or giving it to a bottle recycling depot in Calgary or elsewhere. Moreover, there is no need to flatten out the bottles before recycling. Ensure your nearest bottle depot in Calgary or wherever you live is equipped to handle the tops and bottles by getting in touch with them. Ask them how they prefer to sort and use that way if they don’t.

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