Can You Recycle PETG 3D Printer Filament?


3D printing’s popularity is growing quickly. Companies of all sizes across multiple industries are embracing this technology, but one thing that is often forgotten is the environmental impact of the technology. While many filaments can be recycled, such as PLA, many have questions about less common fibers. For instance, can you recycle PETG 3D printer filament? Let’s look at the answer to that question and learn how to become more environmentally friendly with your 3D printing practices.

Can You Recycle PETG Filament?

Great news—PETG filament is recyclable! But not in the way you may have been taught. For years, some PETG manufacturers have been putting a recycling code of 1 on their products, lumping PETG in with PET (also known as PETE). But, alas, these two plastics are cousins, not siblings, and the glycol-modified PETG does not cleanly melt in recycling like the PET does, and that fouls up the machines. This was such a problem in California that in 2018 they passed a law that effectively removes the coveted 1 designation from PETG.

That does not, however, mean it is not recyclable. It does mean it is going to be a lot harder to do, though. Almost all recycling centers will accept PET products—plastic drink bottles being a huge user of PET—but PETG doesn’t get a unique recycle code, so it falls under the dreaded 7 (other). So, finding a recycling center to take this plastic will be a challenge in larger cities and nigh impossible in smaller ones.

If you cannot find a local center that accepts PETG, don’t shy away from other options. Take some time to seek out companies that specialize in recycling 3D printer filaments. You are a creator, after all. Get creative.

How To Recycle PETG 3D Printer Filaments

Suppose you do locate a recycling facility that accepts PETG. You can prepare the material by keeping it squeaky clean and free of residue before tossing it into the recycling bin. Once the PETG filament makes it into the system, it can be remanufactured into shiny new spools.

Benefits of Recycling PETG 3D Filaments

Recycling PETG filament helps reduce landfill waste and combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Not only that, but it also saves precious natural resources like water and energy by using fewer virgin materials for new filament. And hey, let’s not forget the cool factor—those who embrace green practices showcase their commitment to sustainability.

The Limitations of Recycling PETG

While recycling PETG filament is a step toward environmentally friendly 3D printing, it does have limitations. Of course, you have to find a place to drop it off. And, like all plastics, PETG can lose some of its properties after recycling. This could mean that recycled PETG might perform poorly compared to new materials. Furthermore, the recycling process itself can consume energy and resources, potentially offsetting some of the environmental benefits.

Filamatrix Is Here for Recyclable Filaments

Filamatrix fully supports the journey toward sustainable 3D printing. Learning how PETG 3D printing filament is recycled shows that you can become a small part of a big solution. Incorporating the recycling of PETG 3D printer filament into your plans positions you as a forward-thinker and contributes significantly to your eco-friendly efforts.



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