Rethinking our reliance on single-use plastics and other materials can protect our oceans and land from litter and pollution. When you need to use a disposable bottle, container, or other form of packaging, remember to recycle it.
But, it doesn't always feel that easy - recycling can be confusing. So in celebration of America Recycles Day today, we've pulled together tips to help you recycle right.
1. Prioritize reusable options
At first thought, you might assume that paper coffee cups and plastic straws are recyclable, but sadly, that's not the case. Coffee cups has a plastic lining, making them unable to be recycled in many communities and plastic straws are too small for recycling centers.
Replace these single-use items with reusable alternatives. Invest in a thermos and straws made from glass, steel, or even bamboo, and keep them handy (think: purse, desk, car, and home).
2. It doesn't need to be completely clean
Don't waste time (or water!) washing out your containers before tossing them into the bin. They don't have to be perfectly clean to be recyclable, just clean enough so there isn't a ton of food or liquid still left in them. One caveat - greasy pizza boxes and takeout containers. These are too oily for recycling and need to be sent to the landfill instead.
3. Don't use a bag
Using a plastic bag to hold recyclables is one of the most common recycling no-no's out there. Plastic bags aren't recyclable and wreak havoc on recycling equipment, so many communities will just toss the entire bag (recyclables and all) into waste collection. Instead, recycle plastic bags at your local grocery store or find a drop-off location here.
4. Put bins where you'll use them
Many households have one recycling bin and keep it in the kitchen. This is a great start, but think about where else you use recyclable products and keep a bin or bag nearby. For example, when you use the last of the shampoo in the shower, are you more likely to toss it into the bathroom trash can or scurry out in your towel to the recycling bin? If you fall in the first bucket like most of us, place a bin in the bathroom to collect bottles, cardboard toilet paper rolls, and other recyclables where you use them.
5. Know your community's rules
Keep in mind that your community might have different recycling rules, so be sure to check out your city or town's recycling program so you know what can and can't go in your recycling bin.
Join Fisher and go plastic-free for the next 30 days. Register here and get a free Cape Clasp pin! And, be sure to check out our Make Waves tee and Only You long-sleeve shirt - both are made with fibers from recycled plastic bottles.