Friday, July 12, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Recycling Plastic ♻️

Hey muffins! As it almost halfway through Plastic Free July, I thought I would write a post about something many people still don't understand - recycling plastics. Even if something has that three arrowed recycle symbol on the bottom of it (♻️), that doesn't mean that it can be recycled (or should be recycled). If you truly want to live a low waste lifestyle, try to avoid recycling completely - it actually isn't as green as you'd think. BUT, I totally understand that there are lots of people who can only recycle instead of reduce their waste, so I wanted to share a quick guide on the plastics you should and should not be putting into the recycle bin. 😊 Let's jump right into it!

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The first step in assessing if your plastic can be recycled is to find that recycle symbol on the bottom. In the middle of it, you should see a number between 1 and 7. This number tells the real story, as it tells you exactly what type of plastic it is, which can help you decide to throw it into the recycle bin or not. 😊

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Most of the plastic containers you think of (water bottles, dressing bottles, etc.) are made from this type. It is widely accepted by most recycling programs, but make sure to look at your local town/city's recycling guidelines!

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Milk jugs, shampoo bottles, and plastic bags are all this type. I suggest recycling any plastic bags to special drop off places (I know Walmart has them!), as they can clog up the machines in recycling facilities.

Can it be recycled curbside? NO! While many recycling programs do not accept this plastic at the curb, check to see if there are any recycling centers that you can drop it off at... You'd be surprised how many "specialty" recycling places there are! 👍

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Hooray - drop them in the recycling bin!

Can it be recycled curbside? YES! Straws are made of this type of plastic... But we don't need straws anymore after reading 6 Easy Ways to Participate in Plastic Free July now do we? 😉

Can it be recycled curbside? NO! Again, check to see if there are any drop off places!

Can it be recycled curbside? Sometimes - as this is the "other" category it really depends on the product... If you are interested in more details on plastic recycling, check out this handy PDF guide from PBS! 😃

How often do you recycle? What plastics have you been avoiding this Plastic Free July? Comment below and don't forget to follow Life of an Earth Muffin to never miss another post!


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  1. This is great info to know! I've been doing the plastic free challenge this July as well and it's been harder than I thought, but it really has made me think about how much waste I create on a day to day basis!

    Eileen |


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