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The simple 101 of Plastics Recycling

The simple 101 of Plastics Recycling

Is everything plastic recyclable?
That magical thing that happens once you throw that plastic bottle, cup, cap, lid, spoon, etc isn’t as magical as you might think. I’ve been researching this for the last year, and at every turn I’ve found so many things that we’ve been misinformed about.
The recycling facilities do not accept everything for recycling.
Compared to all that we consume, what the recycling facilities accept are too limited.
The challenges are in educating people about types of plastics out there, what can be recycled and how, and what can’t be recycled at all. And this changes from one municipality to another since recycling is tied to Cities.

Some main rules to keep in mind when recycling:
Plastics into Plastics or Commingled Recylables Box 
All plastics (except plastic bags) should be combined in the same box and not mixed in boxes labeled “Glass”, “Aluminum” or “Paper” if they are marked separately.
Plastic Bags can only be recycled with Plastic Bags
Plastic Bag recycling is a pain and it’s actually getting even more painful with the introduction of the so called “alternatives”. The real alternatives to plastic bags will be bags that will not require any recycling or composting time, but they could just literally biodegrade – such as this edible one made of Taro in Indonesia.
PLEASE, please please empty the bag out before placing it into the recycling bin. Plastic Bags should be with Plastic Bags ONLY. 
I will write more about the why of this in one of the future posts – but basically they cause the recycling machines to jam and is very costly to then fix.
Not every plastic is recyclable
Look at the numbers under the container you have and compare them with the numbers that your Municipality provides you for the recycling bin. Usually, #3, 5,6 and 7 are either very difficult or not at all recyclable in municipalities. These are also the more toxic types of plastics. Check the poster below from
Keep caps on bottles, tubes, tubs etc, when recycling
Unless if you have a specific campaign where they collect only plastic caps, then leaving the caps on the bottles actually make it easier to collect them. Otherwise they are too light and get blown off the recycling belts ending up in landfills and washed out during rains and winds.
Oh and STYROFOAM is NOT recyclable! 
Thank you for reading, please leave a comment if you have any specific questions and suggestions. Stay with love with mother nature and our beautiful blue and wishing you a plastic free day! 💙🐬💙

Next Up: Balloons!


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