3 min read

How are plastic bottles made? They’re made from pellets and flakes of recycled bottles, and go through many machines. These machines can make all sorts of plastic jars and bottles It’s an interesting process, and we’ll lead you through it in this article.

In the Beginning

Plastic bottles start as piles of pellets, and as flakes from older, recycled plastic bottles. Plastics weaken over time, so recycled bottles can’t make up more than 10% of new ones. These pellets and flakes are melted down at super-hot temperatures. Here, they’re mixed with colors. In the instance of our Nalgene water bottles, they could be Juniper green or Charcoal grey. After this, they’re injected into a mold, or “pre-form.” These come in various sizes to help fully mold them into the different types of bottles and jars they’ll become. For example, a juice bottle’s pre-form is smaller than a water jug’s. From there, they move on to a cooling system, and are soon made into bottles.

water bottle

Becoming a Bottle

The next stop is a reheat stretch blow molding machine, which, as its name implies, reheats the hardened pre-forms to stretch them out into their final forms. A rod is inserted into the malleable plastic to stretch it lengthwise, and high-pressure air is blown into it to give it its shape. Cold water is then pumped in to cool the plastic to the right hardness. One or two bottles are taken off the line for testing, to make sure that they can withstand everything life can throw at them. Once the batch is tested, it’s time to make the lids.

Lids and Straps

In another part of the factory, the plastic lids, straps, and buttons are being made. Like before, liquid plastic is poured into a molding machine. It’s a bit different, though, as there’s no pre-form. They’re attached by a special machine arm. Once again, they’re tested for durability, strength, and security of attachment. But they’re set aside so the bottles can go into the printing machine. Here, they get the same Trayvax logo as a black Cinch belt, with the inspiring “Earn Your Story” tagline. They also get a fun pattern printed on them. The machines are fast enough to print 52 bottles per minute. Once the logos have been printed on the bottles, they’re lidded. This completes the manufacturing process.

What Comes Next?

Once they’re done, the bottles are shipped to where they need to go. In our case, the bottles are sent to our warehouse in Washington state. From here, you can buy it off our website, the same as buying a cool metal wallet. It’ll be shipped from us to you, and once it gets to you, you can use it for anything you need. It’s a great travel bottle, and can hold either warm or cold beverages. It’s even dishwasher-safe, on the top shelf, so you can keep it sparkling clean.  Between Nalgene’s many years of practice and rigorous testing, and Trayvax’s guarantees of durability, this water bottle should last you years. And when it finally gives out, it’s easily recycled. It can become flakes for the next set of PET bottles and jars, starting fresh at the plant.

plastic

Other Plastic Products

Other products made in this way include jars and juice bottles. They’re mostly made the same way, but some of them require more than one trip through the molding machine, especially if they’re thinner. But no matter what’s being made out of the PET plastic, it’s always recyclable. For sanitary purposes, however, the recycled plastic comes from within the factory from failed bottles. Whether it’s thick, thin, or somewhere in between, PET plastic is useful for many things, not just water bottles. But when it comes to water bottles, Trayvax carries some of the best. This is partially thanks to Nalgene’s high manufacturing standards.

In Conclusion

Plastic bottle manufacturing is a complicated yet interesting process. Melted pellets and flakes are colored and made into special pre-forms. Those pre-forms are poked with rods and inflated with air to their final shape and size, then cooled quickly to the right hardness. Some are tested for quality. From there, Nalgene lids are made, straps and buttons included. These are tested too. The logos are printed, and the lids are attached. From there, they go to our warehouse in Washington state, then to you when you buy it. Between Nalgene and Trayvax, you’re guaranteed to get a quality product. You’ll love this bottle.


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