CarbonLite: Inside the World’s Largest Plastic Bottle Recycling Plant

CarbonLite is the world’s largest “bottle-to-bottle” plastic recycling plant in Riverside, Calif.

“SoCal Connected” takes a look inside the state-of-the-art facility where billions of plastic bottles are churned on an annual basis. The process involves transforming old plastic bottles into PET pellets and flakes in order to produce new plastic bottles.

The bottles are required to go through metal detectors, a special “prewash” phase, and a label-removing facility before they can become shiny, brand new pellets.

Even though your plastic water bottle might not weigh as much, a square bale of plastic bottles can weigh more than 1,300 pounds, as Derrick Shore reveals in this segment of “SoCal Connected.”

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20 thoughts on “CarbonLite: Inside the World’s Largest Plastic Bottle Recycling Plant”

  1. I don't care about global warming, that's a bunch of nonsense. But I do care about landfills. The real problem is that recycling has much higher upfront costs. In New York it costs $240 per ton to recycle. The facility in this video came at a cost of $60,000,000 to build and then you have to hire people to work at these facilities which is also expensive in many ways. You can't simply pass a law, when you pass laws like that it comes with high costs and the tax payers have to pay for it. People are more concerned about paying the bills and paying their college tuition than recycling.

  2. That is the best operation in, specifically, the USA. That is the best closed loop PET recycling in the USA. in western Europe closed loop recycling of plastic bottle PET back into the same product is far more advanced than in the USA. So it can be done. It is being done in this operation in California and also more widely in western Europe, so it does not have to be like it generally is in China, the USA, or south east Asia or India. It does not have to be recyclable PET turned into cheap garbage.

  3. Plastic industry is the worst tumor on the face of the planet. Plastic bottles system should be totally eliminated as it takes energy in the recycling process, not to mention the waste waters and the transportation. There's so many alternatives, for example going to the store with the empty glass bottle in an exchange for a full one (of the same brand).

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  5. Why don't we put all the garbage into a rocket and send it into space towards a black hole? How much plastic is on the earth? Half of the earth or all? (curious 8 year old)

  6. This is really awesome. However, what happens to the labels, the washing water, and the sterilization waste? Landfills …

  7. This is more like it, with recyclable PET going back into mainstream bottle production instead of it going to the Chinese slave labor arseholes to be processed into worthless Capitalist junk.


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