Technology

Are you recycling your plastics correctly? What you need to know

Recycling your plastics is a great way to help the environment, but you can’t just throw every water bottle or cellophane wrapper in the trash – some plastics are better off in the trash. And if you don’t clean your recyclable plastics properly, they could end up contaminating other recyclable materials.

Plastic that is not recycled either ends up in landfills, is burned, or finds its way out into the oceans. Burning plastic produces carbon dioxide, which is responsible for the entire energy imbalance The earth’s temperature will rise, according to NOAA Climate.gov. When plastic ends up in a landfill, it can go anywhere Decomposition takes five to 600 years, depending on what type it is. The average time it takes for a plastic bottle to decompose is 450 years.

This is what experts say about recycling plastics. More information can be found here which takeaway containers are recyclable.

How to recycle plastic

Recycling plastic might be harder than you think. You must rinse all food and liquids (except water) from the containers before throwing them in the trash can. If the plastic isn’t clean, a recycling center employee told CNET, it could contaminate an entire load of plastics, which would result in the recycling center sending the entire batch to a landfill.

When recycling plastic bottles, look for “Crush to Conserve” on the label. If so, remove the lid and crush the bottle by twisting it from the top and pushing down. After crushing, put the lid back on the bottle so that it can also be recycled.

Know which plastics are recyclable

Not all plastics are the same. Many people throw all their plastic into the recycling bin without knowing whether it is recyclable or not. If the plastic is not accepted by the recycling center, employees will throw it in the trash.

So how do you know which plastics are acceptable? Contact your local recycling company to see if they accept these. Many recycling companies provide additional information on their website about items that can and cannot be recycled. If your local waste disposal company provides your recycling bin, they may list the information on the outside of the bin.

Plastic containers usually have numbers on the bottom indicating what type of plastic they are. For example, Plastics #1 and #2 are almost always recyclable, while #6 plastic is not always accepted. Even if it says “compostable” on the plastic, then must be composted and not recycled.

Reusable bottles in the sand Reusable bottles in the sand

Avoid plastic waste by using reusable bottles, straws and utensils.

Amanda Capritto/CNET

what else can I do?

The first step to preventing plastic waste is to limit the use of non-reusable plastics such as plastic bottles. Instead, opt for glass or hard plastic bottles that you can refill and use daily. Here are more ways to help.

  • Use reusable straws instead of plastic straws.
  • Avoid using plastic utensils unless they can be washed and reused.
  • Recycle plastic bags and see if your local grocery store or recycling center accepts them.
  • Use fabric shopping bags.
  • Stop wasting solo cups and opt for glass or reusable plastic cups instead.
  • Reuse plastic items. Tobias Haider, research associate at PlastX, said CNET in 2022 that “plastic products wouldn’t be a problem if we reused them.”
  • Remember that plastic foam is not recyclable, and this includes egg cartons, packaging and peanuts. If you have a lot of foam lying around your house, contact schools in your area to see if they can use it for projects.



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