Photos: Plastic Bottle & Bag Recycling Tips for the Holidays
A holiday 'how to' guide for plastic bottle and bag reuse and recycling
ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- This holiday season, Americans will generate 25 percent more waste, resulting in 5 million extra tons of garbage! To encourage consumers to "trim their trash" while trimming their tree, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) asked Bob Lilienfeld, editor of the Use Less Stuff (ULS) Report, to help provide the following holiday "how to" guide for reusing and recycling plastic bottles and bags, that will result in savings to the pocketbook and to the environment.
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- Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling in your community and where they can be taken. Though recycling varies, most community programs collect plastic bottles and many grocery and retail chains now offer bins to collect used plastic bags and product wraps for recycling.
- Know what to recycle with your bottles. A "bottle" is any container with a neck or opening that's smaller than its base and includes milk jugs; beverage containers; bottles from salad dressing, oil and other condiments; food jars for items like peanut butter and mayonnaise; and bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and other household cleaners.
- Know what to recycle with your bags. When you recycle your bags, include all plastic bags from grocery and retail stores, dry cleaners, plastic bags that cover newspapers, and product wraps from paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers.
- Clean and empty. Before tossing them in the recycle bin, make sure bottles are appropriately rinsed and that caps are removed. Similarly, bags should be clean and empty of trash or receipts.
- Bring bottles back to the bin. When bottles are emptied away from home, temporarily store them in a backpack or briefcase, or simply leave them in the car until arriving home to place in a recycle bin.
- Store bags in a bag. Storing plastic bags and other wraps in a plastic bag offers neat, convenient storage. Simply knot the handles when you're ready to drop them off at your local grocer or retailer.
- Reuse those bags! From trashcan liners to pet pick-up, plastic bags can be used dozens of ways.
- Pitch in beyond the kitchen. While many recyclable bottles and bags come from the kitchen, don't forget to check the bathrooms and laundry room for shampoo and detergent bottles and reuse your plastic bags as trash can liners throughout the house.
- When in doubt, leave it out. Be careful not to contaminate your recyclables with garbage or items that aren't recycled in your area.
- Bridge the second generation gap. It's important to remember that recycled plastics go on to become second generation products like carpet, fleece jackets and new bottles and bags.
"These tough economic times require all of us to think smarter about using less stuff and saving more money," says Bob Lilienfeld, editor of the ULS Report. "The holidays provide consumers the perfect opportunity to practice reducing their waste by reusing and recycling lots of stuff, including plastics."
"During the excitement of the holidays, it's easy to forget about the extra waste we generate, but recycling plastics can be refreshingly easy," says Jennifer Killinger with the ACC. "Turning reuse and recycling tips into household habits will help reduce trash, and help protect our environment, year-round."