How is recycled plastic wrap made?

Plastic recycling may sometimes seem a distant concept to us, because we are not always able to see its real benefits and tangible results. Therefore, it is necessary and appropriate to show what can be concretely obtained thanks to increasingly advanced plastic recycling technologies.

In this article we’ll talk about how a very popular and widely used everyday product is made, that is recycled plastic wrap.

Plastic wrap can be used in different ways, based on type and density of the recycled plastic material (polyethylene). It is often used to make rubbish and domestic waste bags, but it also used to pack and wrap different product types, for it is particularly sturdy and resistant.

In addition to its classic transparent version, a roll can be made in several sizes and colours.

The percentage of recycling can reach 100%! That is an aspect which should not be underestimated.

How is recycled plastic wrap made?

This process takes place in a specific system with a blown film extrusion technology. You can see it in action in the following pictures!

The recycled plastic material is pushed toward the extrusion head (picture 1) and then inflated to obtain a giant blown bubble. It almost looks like a real soap bubble and can reach 13 metres high!

Subsequently, special ventilation fans are brought into operation in order to cool completely down this bubble. At this point, the plastic material is flattened by a lock cylinder and brought to a roller (picture 2).

It is thus at this stage that a roll of recycled plastic material is made.

And here is the video shows all steps necessary to make a recycled plastic wrap!

How to recognise a recycled plastic bag

What about you? Have you ever paid attention to the bags you use? Are they made of recycled plastic? You can easily recognise them from their international recycling symbol with its distinctive three arrows. Sometimes, the exact percentage of recycled material contained in these bags is also stated alongside this symbol. Moreover, if you look through them, you can see some tiny darker spots caused by small impurities. This proves that it’s real recycled plastic.