We find ourselves surrounded by plastic material every day in the form of toys, food containers, furniture, building materials, bags, textiles and the list goes on. Many plastics are designed for single use, which is the problem when they are not disposed of properly. They end up contaminating our water systems, storm drains, and desert/ocean environments. These single use plastics do not break down when exposed to the elements, they simply break apart and create a harmful nuisance for wild life and proves difficult to clean up. Reusing plastic items or finding a better more durable alternative alleviates the plastic waste.
When it comes to recycling plastic there are a variety of plastic containers that can be recycled, but not all plastics can be recycled. Select reusable containers, like glass, metal, or plastic, so that you can reduce single use plastic waste created from bags, bottles, and food wrap. Buy products in bulk then separate them into reusable containers instead of purchasing in multiple single use packages.
Recyclable plastics are identified by a plastic resin number surrounded by chasing arrows usually molded into the container and are commonly found on the bottom or side of plastic containers. Resin numbers are used to identify the type of plastic and the molding process. Most plastic containers found in a home pantry are recyclable and have plastic resin codes. Plastics without resin identification numbers are not recyclable and should be disposed of with solid waste. When shopping for products in plastic containers, take into consideration if the plastic is recyclable (look for the plastic resin number) or reusable for another need, before purchasing. However, not every solid waste hauler can recycle the same types of plastics, it depends on where the materials are taken for sorting. Always check with your hauler to see what they accept in the recycling bins.