A recent survey revealed that a majority of Americans are confused about what types of plastic can be recycled, which has led to a lack of trust that plastic is actually getting recycled.
Joining us today with some do's and don'ts with your recycling is Jeremy Walters, sustainability Ambassador for Republic Services.
Welcome Jeremy, so what is the state of plastic recycling in the U.S today?
Hey, thanks for having me, you know, recycled plastic, there's never been a stronger demand for these materials, and major brands are setting ambitious targets for recycled content.
And some states are actually even adopting minimum content standards for these manufacturers in terms of how much recycled plant plastic⁽¹⁾ they should have in the packaging that they produce.
So which plastics should never be placed in a recycling container?
So there are some very problematic plastics that we see, coming through the recycling center, and most commonly grocery bags and other flexible plastics.
These actually have a tendency to wrap and tangle around the sorting equipment, here at the recycling center, so they should never be placed in your curbside recycling bin.
Jeremy, which plastics are good to recycle, and how should they be prepared for recycling?
So there are a number of good plastics for recycling, and what we're after are the hard plastic, think bottles jugs and tubs.
Specifically labeled with a number 1 2 and in some instances number 5⁽²⁾. But you do need to rinse these out.
Whether it's a plastic bottle, a metal can, a glass bottle, they do need to be rinsed gently, before you throw them in the bin.
So a little bit of water goes a long way, squirt it in here, swirl it around, tap it dry, put the cap back on, and then throw it in the recycling bin.
And the reason that we ask you to do that, is that paper and cardboard is very fragile, in fact it's soiled with food liquid we have to throw it away.
For more information visit RepublicServices.com/AmericaRecyclesDay.