Did you know that every year we produce enough plastic film in this country to shrink-wrap Texas? Or that although Americans recycle more than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic each year, it only makes up around 27 percent of the waste stream? While plastic offers the advantages of being flexible and lightweight, it also consumes fossil resources for its manufacture and contributes waste in our environment.
Does that plastic lunch container still have yesterday's pizza in it? Don't recycle it until it's clean!
One dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing thousands of pounds of collected plastics.
This can cause thousands of recyclable items to go to a landfill instead of being recycled.
Cleanliness is essential.
Plastics come in a variety of shapes, colors and chemical formulations - all with different recycling needs. The code number does not mean the plastic can be recycled. It is simply a way to identify the resin, or plastic type.
How can you tell what kinds of plastic to put into your recycling bin? The code number on the bottom of your product is not a reliable indicator of whether something can get recycled. Recycle by shape!
Bottles, jars, and jugs – is the best way to know what is accepted.
Remember to keep dirty containers out of your recycling bin. One partially empty soda bottle in a bale of plastic can spoil the whole load.
Plastic grocery and produce sacks are commonly placed in recycle bins. These bags can shut down an entire recycling plant and should be kept out of our recycling bin. Plastic bags are often collected in barrels at grocery stores, and usually end up as plastic lumber.
PET plastic is the most common material used for single-use bottled beverages, because it is inexpensive, lightweight, unbreakable and easy to recycle. It takes more than 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce a year's supply of water bottles. That's enough oil to fuel 100,000 cars for a year.