Well, you’re right. They’re definitely not beads. They’re about three or four steps away from that.
They look exactly like my product, as a matter of fact.
Post-consumer plastic goes into a shredder, then into a granulator to produce what we call flake. The organic material (inevitable to the post-consumer process) and metal are after removed after flaking — by various methods, not always magnetic.
Then the flakes are melted and (for most plastics), extruded into very thin cylinders, then cut off at regular intervals to form pellets that we call Repro.
They’re mixed with virgin pellets, melted, re-extruded, re-pelletized and sold as raw material.
Oh, the rounding you see in the flake is caused by the friction-induced heat inside the granulator.
In fact, you have to be really careful to avoid a meltdown, where the plastic starts adhering to the blades.
All kinds of bad things then happen!