For America Recycles Day, We’re Talking Plastics

In honor of America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful is urging everyone to recycle more and recycle right in their everyday lives. The first thing that comes to mind about recycling more and recycling right has a lot to do with one big problem we have in the United States — plastic waste.

In 2018, plastic accounted for 12% of the 292 million tons of municipal solid waste generated in our country alone, making the U.S. the world’s largest generator of plastic waste. And since we have so much of it, and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon — the least we can do is be sure we’re not only recycling but recycling properly.

Let’s start by looking at the plastic resin codes, what they mean, what items typically fall in these categories and what to do with them.

The end goal is to end plastic waste, but until we get there, we can all pledge to be better about the way we recycle plastic. To determine which plastics are accepted in your curbside bin, a good rule of thumb is to go by shape, according to Waste Management. If it’s not a bottle, jar, jug or tub, it’s probably not accepted curbside.

As the old adage goes, each one, teach one. So why not get ahead of America Recycles Day by educating your friends and family on the importance of recycling and have them take the #BeRecycled pledge, which is a promise to actively live a recycled lifestyle by:

  • Recycling at home, work and school and on the go
  • Buying products made with recycled content
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to take the #BeRecycled pledge.

For more on recycling the right way, check out our blog Recycling Do’s and Don’ts to avoid Wish-cycling. Or, see how you can Make Something New Again by Recycling.