Proof Positivity: Going Green

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

According to a recent survey conducted by Plastics Make it Possible(SM) , an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, nearly 70 percent of households make an effort to recycle at home. Of those homes that make recycling a priority, more than two out of three rely on the women of the house to serve as the “recycling enforcers.” One out of four families shares the responsibility while only 10 percent put their kids in charge of recycling duty.

So just where do the plastic bottles you throw in the recycling bin and the plastic bags you take back to the grocery store end up? Though recycled plastics might be out-of-mind as soon as they are placed in a recycling bin, they are far from out-of-sight. Most people use “second life” plastics in their homes or cars everyday – and many of us may even be wearing them! According to the survey, eighty-two percent of Americans know that recycled plastic water bottles can be used to make a variety of items such as lumber for homes and decks, car bumpers, life jackets, sails for boats, rope and even fashionable t-shirts.

To encourage consumers to recycle more, Plastics Make it Possible(SM) provides the following tips for reusing and recycling everyday plastics.

1. Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling in your community
and where they can be taken.  Though recycling options vary, most
community curbside programs collect plastic bottles and many grocery
and retail chains now offer bins to collect used plastic bags and wraps
for recycling.  An increasing number of communities are also collecting
rigid containers like yogurt and butter tubs.
2. Know what to recycle with your bottles.  A “bottle” is any container
with a neck or opening that’s smaller than its base and includes milk
jugs; beverage containers; bottles from salad dressing, oil and other
condiments; food jars for items like peanut butter and mayonnaise; and
bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and household
cleaners.
3. Know what to recycle with your bags at grocery stores.  When you
recycle your bags, include all plastic bags from grocery, retail and
dry cleaning stores, plastic bags that cover newspapers, and product
wraps from paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers.
4. Clean and empty.  Before tossing them in the recycle bin, make sure
bottles are appropriately rinsed and that caps are removed.
5. Bring bottles back to the bin.  When bottles are emptied away from
home, store them in a backpack or briefcase, or simply leave them in
the car until arriving home to place in a recycle bin.
6. Store bags in a bag. Storing plastic bags and wraps in a plastic bag
offers neat, convenient storage. Simply knot the handles when you’re
ready to drop them off at your local grocer or retailer.
7. Reuse those bags! From trash can liners to pet pick-up, plastic bags
can be used dozens of ways.
8. Pitch in beyond the kitchen. While many recyclable bottles and bags
come from the kitchen, don’t forget to check the bathrooms and laundry
room for shampoo and detergent bottles and reuse your plastic bags as
trash can liners throughout the house.
9. When in doubt, leave it out. Be careful not to contaminate your
recyclables with garbage or items that aren’t recycled in your area.

10. Bridge the second generation gap.  It’s important to remember that
recycled plastics go on to become second generation products like
carpet, fleece jackets and new bottles and bags.

I recycle when I can and here is my own personal list for recycling plastic:

1.  Make a purse with your grocery store bags.  Recycle Cindy
offers tons of great ideas.

2. Use those huge ice cream buckets to store things like cookie cutters or home made play dough.

3. Turn peanut butter jars into a piggy bank.

4.  Wash out your resealable sandwich  bags and reuse them.

5. Use your 2 liter pop bottle to carry water to drink on a hot day.

6. Use the lids from your pop bottles to create a game of checkers.

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