It’s the start of a new year and I’m feeling like we can make 2016 bigger and better than 2015.  For me (and my family ’cause they have no choice!) that means trying to get even more of our trash (landfill) waste into a recycling bin.  One way to do that is to make recycling plastic an even bigger priority!

Why Recycling Plastic is Important

One of the big offenders in the should-be-recycled-and-not-go-into-the-trash-world is plastic.   It is a big no, no in the environmentally friendly world – and it’s about to be in yours too – I hope!  To be fair, let me give you a few reasons why plastic gets such a bad rap:

  • It can take up to 1,000 years to degrade in a landfill
  • 29 million tons of plastic is either sent to landfills or incinerated (which causes the release of harmful pollution)
  • Only 25% of the plastic produced in the US is recycled

So, starting now I’d like to ask you and your family to focus on recycling plastic in your home and see if you can be more aware of what bin you are putting it in – preferably the recycling bin!

What Type of Plastic is Recyclable

Recycling plastic can be a little tricky because there are different types of plastics and some communities may or may not support recycling them.  So, look into what types of plastics your community recycles – either through curbside pick or drop off at a facility.  If your options are limited then just make sure you are focusing all of your efforts on the types supported.

By the way, to tell which type of plastic you have you can typically tell by looking at the bottom.  Many items have a small recycling triangle with a number in it which tells you what type of plastic it is.  For more in depth information about the different types of plastics check out this site.  Personally, I found it very interesting – but I’m into that stuff!  🙂

How To Get Your Family Recycling Plastic

So, now you (probably not your family yet!) know what you can recycle so it’s time to get to work – and have a little fun! Gather a number of plastic items (they don’t have to be trash) from your home and make sure to choose a wide variety of things.  Next, quiz your family on each item and ask whether or not they think it can be recycled.  A plastic water bottle is an easy one but how about the plastic container your blueberries came in or the to-go container from last night’s dinner?  How about items from other parts of the house – a shampoo bottle or the plastic side of the Q-tip package?  The point is to try to get your family familiar with all of the plastic trash you have that can actually be recycled – instead of put into the trash!


Now it’s up to you to nag, nag, nag your family to make sure you are all recycling plastic as best you can!  And if you find yourself frustrated by the amount of nagging or the amount of digging in the trash for plastic you have to do check out my post about habits, “Help Your Family Adopt Green Habits” for a little insight and expectation setting!  Good luck!