PET Bottle Recycling Line

Polyethylene terephthalate, commonly abbreviated as PET, is one of the most common types of plastic we encounter on a daily basis. Numerous scientific tests and analysis have created a broad consensus that PET is a safe material for the storage of food and beverages. Due to its non-toxic, cost-effective and environmentally friendly property, PET is one of the most common consumer plastics used. Most single-serve plastic bottles, including those for water, soft drinks and juices, are made with PET.


PET plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, its recycling process starts with collection, and the collected and sorted PET bottles are compressed into bales using baler machine and then are sent to specialized facility for turning these post-consumer PET bottles into PET flakes which are used as raw material for manufacturing new products. Recycled PET material can be recycled back into new bottles. It can also be turned into polyester fibers which are used as a base for products such as fleece coats, clothing, pillows and carpets.


The goal of a PET bottle recycling facility is to recover these dirty plastic bottles and thoroughly cleaning them so they can be reused. At the same time, various contaminants must also be separated such as the plastic labels wrapped around each bottle and the bottle caps which are not made from PET plastic. A typical PET bottle recycling line, also known as washing line consists of below parts:


1. De-baling machine (Bale Opener / Bale Breaker): breaks PET bottle bales, so the bottles flow freely onto a belt conveyor for further processing.
2. Primary Separation (by using Disc Screener, Trommel or other separation equipment): for removing small contaminants such as broken glass, metals, rocks, loose caps etc.
3. Manual Sorting: manually separate the bottles by different color fractions: transparent PET or colored PET. Each color type of PET are manually put in different bins. Also pick out non-PET containers like PVC or HDPE etc.
4. Electrostatic separator / Metal Detector: for separation of any metal portion remain in the bottles
5. Granulator: for size reduction. During shredding/granulating, water is sprayed into the cutting chamber partially washing the bottles while acting as a lubricate to reduce friction of the knives and plastic
6. Screw Conveyor: washing and transportation of shredded PET bottles.
7. Sink / Float Separation Tank: for cleaning PET flakes and separating most contamination and caps via density, both the labels and bottle caps float in water, whilst PET flakes sink.
8. Hot washer: clean the PET flakes using boiling hot water which sterilizes and further gets rid of contaminants such as glues (from the labels being glued on), grease/oils, and difficult to remove left-overs (beverage/foods).
9. Dewatering machine: uses centrifugal force to spin away a large portion of the water
10. Hot air dryer: thermal heaters are used to dry PET flakes


At the end of a PET bottle recycling line are clean, contaminant-free PET flakes ready for use in the manufacturing of various recycled products.


To know more about PET recycling or baling, you can consult with experts from sinobaler at or


Quick links:

Types of Plastic in Recycling

Why plastic can be recycled?

9 Steps of Plastic Recycling

Which plastics can be recycled?



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