It’s Global Recycling Day and I’m going to share some stats with you from a few of the groups I follow. More information and ways to recycle are below these snipits. I’m linking a lot of the websites I normally do but each of these topics are also covered in my blog if you search for the words and phrases shared in this post.
Did you know that only 9% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled? Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to highlight the import role recycling plays in preserving our precious natural resources and reducing environmental litter.4ocean email 03.18.21, brackets mine
However, not all plastics are the same and not all of them can be recycled. So while we work to increase recycling rates for materials that can be recycled [and that already exist], we must also work to eliminate unnecessary [future] plastic production and consumption.
Dropps email 03.18.21
It’s time for Americans to come to terms with a new reality: our plastics that didn’t exist 50 years ago need to go somewhere, and creating this much waste has a price we haven’t had to pay so far. Make sure that the items you are recycling can truly be recycled in your area. When you must buy single-use materials, lean towards aluminum and cardboard, which have the best chance and being repurposed.
Recycling at Home or Your City Site
Check with your provider or utility to see what items can be recycled. If you move this is especially important. Different cities operate differently, let alone different states or countries. I can recycle way more in Austin than my parents can in Round Rock which is 30 minutes north of us. A few of the city programs near me are listed below.
City of Austin Residential Recycling / Styrofoam / Apartment Dwellers Guide
City of New Braunfels Residential Recycling / Styrofoam
City of Round Rock Residential Recycling / Recycling Center
City of San Marcos Residential Recycling / Apartment Dweller Quick Facts
Apartments should check with their provider/contractor or that provider/contractor(s) website(s) for instructions/restrictions.
Plastic Bags and Films
How2Recycle shares not only the education label that helps you process product packaging but explains why plastic bags, wraps, and films can’t be recycled in your curbside recycling bins, what types of plastic films and bags can be taken to a store drop-off station and also lists locations for you. Many local grocery stores chains now accept plastic bags and films and according to Austin Resource Recovery these programs are run by the same groups so they all accept pretty what is listed here.
Hard to Recycle – TerraCycle
TerraCycle has a lot of free programs you can sign up for to recycle difficult and composite items that should not go in your curbside recycling cart. These are things like contact lens, food or drink pouches, makeup packaging, hair accessories, etc. TerraCycle also has boxes that you purchase that can recycle even more, they even have an All-in-One box that basically will take everything but perishables and sharps. TerraCycle even confirmed the All-in-One box will accept mesh food bags like those little oranges come in, and frozen food bags (clean and dry). These two items would normally have to go in the trash as residential facilities and store drop-off stations do not accept those. TerraCycle boxes are pricey so keep an eye out for sales; sign up for their emails. There’s usually an Earth Month/Earth Day sale.
Remember that the three most common Rs are in the order they are for a reason: Reduce, Reuse then Recycle. If you can buy in bulk and loose that’s greener than packages. If you can reuse or return containers for storage, crafts, around the house, that’s great. Then recycle as a last resort. This may be a big mind shift for you so just take little steps. Maybe work on one item a week to improve on or a category for the month like produce. Remember, we’re taking small steps to be a little more green. It doesn’t have to be one giant leap.