According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States created 35 million tons of plastic waste in 2015. And the saddening fact is that only 9.1 percent of the accumulated plastic was recycled. These numbers might appear frightening, but things are not that bleak.
Nongovernmental agencies like Recycle Across America are actively raising awareness about the need to recycle plastic containers. Consequently, more communities and individuals are adopting eco-friendly habits to protect the environment.
Nevertheless, you may still wonder where to recycle plastic containers. A straightforward response would be to take the containers to a recycling bin. But the answer is not as simple as it may seem.
The following write-up gives you a better idea of where and how to recycle plastic containers.
It All Starts at Home
The first line of defense against the polluting effects of plastic containers is at your household, and you don’t need much to start recycling today. The first thing to do is separate plastic containers from other garbage. It would be nice to have a special bin for the plastic containers but it’s not absolutely necessary right off the bat – a few transparent bags would be just fine.
In addition, you should remember that most plastic containers come with some sort of a lid or cap which are recyclable as well. There are two ways to deal with the lids; compress the plastic container and put the lid back on or place the lids in a separate recycling bin.
The lids are sometimes made of a different type of plastic; therefore they are recycled separately. What’s more, some recycling facilities accept only the containers, so it pays to ask around and avoid being turned down. But it’s not too much of an effort to go the extra mile and remove the lids anyway.
Another thing to keep in mind is that recycling shouldn’t be limited to your kitchen. There are plastic containers in your bathroom, laundry room, and garage. Detergents, shampoos, cleaning and gardening products usually come in recyclable containers.
Local Drop-off Location
Once you’ve filled up the recycling bins, it’s time to take them to a drop-off location. It is a place in your area that accepts plastic containers, film packaging, and bags for recycling. The drop-off locations can be local retailers such as grocery stores or private/municipal recycling centers.
Most US communities have some sort of a recycling program, so finding a location to offload the containers should be easy. Unless you know the exact location, you can go to Plastic Film Recycling’s website and locate a drop-off point there. Just enter your zip code and the website will give you a list of all the nearby places.
The list includes the phone numbers and distance from your location. It might be wise to get in touch with the drop-off point ask what kind of plastic they accept. In general, bigger recycling facilities take both plastic containers and lid/caps while the smaller ones may only take containers.
Communal Recycling Bins
If going to a drop-off location is too much hassle for you, you can look up common recycling bins in your neighborhood. As previously hinted, a growing number of municipalities are taking up new environmental policies, which usually include placing large recycling bins around the neighborhood.
You are likely to find several, sometimes color-coordinated bins at any given location. Choose the one for plastic containers and take the time to read the label about how to use the bin. Remember, recycling is a lifestyle and mindset, so not doing it right would defy the original purpose.
In case you are not sure what goes where, it’s better to leave it next to the bin. When the collection day comes, the recyclers will know what to do with it.
The possibilities for recycling plastic containers are limited only by your imagination. You can repurpose used plastic bottles by turning them into cool-looking vertical gardens. Those who are handy can even make a futuristic chandelier from old plastic containers.
Either way, there are more than a few online tutorials to choose from. These tutorials guide you through all the required steps and contain an invaluable pool of ideas for what to do with common plastic containers.
Recycling starts in your home and it only takes determination and some effort. It doesn’t hurt to get some better insight into all the recycling options in your community. Once you know where to find all the facilities, drop-off points, and bins, you can make the recycling route your weekly or monthly routine.
At that point, you might ask yourself – why stop at plastic containers – and start recycling other items as well.