Recycling Plastics; yes, please!

Annie Hostetter, Indiana Recycling Coalition program manager, guest blogs about the fantastic work the IRC is doing--be sure to check in all week for their posts! From water bottles at the gym, to cups from your favorite coffee shop, gallons of milk, kid’s toys, straws, yogurt containers, and to-go containers and more, plastic is everywhere!  But here are two common plastic items that you might not think about and are super easy to recycle!


Bottle Caps: These guys are made out of a different plastic than the bottles they sit on – bottles are #1 and the caps are #5. So for years, we were told to remove the caps and recycle the bottles. But why? The two plastics melt at a different temperatures therefore, they had to be processed separately. Also, the caps could shoot off and cause safety hazards. But now, thanks to changes in technology, many facilities are able to accept the caps along with the bottles. They do encourage that people keep the caps on the bottles when they go to recycle them – even launching a “Caps On” initiative. So from now on, keep those caps on your soda bottles and toss them both in the recycling! 


Plastic Bags: It’s a sentence you’ve heard a million times at the checkout line, “Paper or plastic?” So if you forget your canvas bag, you’re likely to accumulate a good number of plastic bags. There are many ways to reuse these bags once you have them but after that, what’s the best thing to do with them? They are made of film plastic which is recyclable but can cause problems in single stream recycling like curbside or drop-off facilities, meaning that they’re often not accepted. Luckily there’s a convenient option – bring them back to the place you got them! Most grocery stores have a bin just inside their doors to accept clean, dry, plastic bags. You can even include bread bags and other types of plastic film bags! So if you can’t reduce them, and you’ve already reused, make sure to recycle them! 

Starting in 2014 KIB will no longer feature recycling information on our website; that job is better suited for our friends at the Indiana Recycling Coalition. Be sure to follow the IRC posts all this week leading up to America Recycles Day on November 15!