Today the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. With how much plastic gets made and used on an annual basis, it’s important to dispose of your plastics properly. Many people make a few common mistakes when recycling their plastics; here are the top errors you should avoid.
Many plastic containers and items can be recycled, but not necessarily right away. If your plastic bottles or containers have held food or other items that might have left food bits, residue, or other contaminants on them, you’ll need to wash them first. Cleaning your plastic containers ensures they actually end up being recycled, rather than thrown away.
Not all plastics are able to be recycled. While most common household plastics, like plastic water jugs and packaging, are made from recyclable materials, many plastic-based items need special care to recycle. Look for a number inside a triangular recycling symbol on your plastic item; this will tell you what category of plastic it’s made from, which can indicate if it’s able to be recycled.
Even when your plastic item is recyclable, not all recycling centers will accept all plastics through a standard collection system. Most common recyclables, like plastic water jugs, bottles, containers, and so on, can simply be put in a recycling bin. However, specific items, like electronics, will need to be taken to collection centers for recycling.
The biggest mistake to make with recycling is not recycling at all. Most plastics do not biodegrade, meaning they won’t decompose in a landfill. Instead, recycle your plastics whenever possible so that they can be turned into new plastic items and avoid using additional resources. Most cities and areas now have a public recycling program, but if you’re unsure about options in your area, contact your local officials to see what recycling options are available near you.
These recycling mistakes are common, but knowing how to properly handle and dispose of recyclable plastics can help you reduce your environmental impact. For more information on recyclable plastics and custom plastics, contact Indiana Bottle Company today.