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Plastic recycling can be rather confusing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. First, you need to know which plastics are recyclable and which should be tossed in the trash. In this article, you will understand what plastics can be recycled, and learn how to recycle properly. 

plastic waste

Know which plastics are recyclable

Not all plastic is recyclable. Plastics are classified into 7 categories according to Resin Identification Codes (RIC). Generally, the higher the number, the less recyclable it is. For example, #1 and #2 plastics are almost always recyclable, while #7 plastics aren’t always accepted. Make sure you check the plastic numbers on the bottom that denote which kind of plastic it is.

Tossing non-recyclable plastics in the recycle bin can damage expensive recycling equipment or contaminate the entire stream of recyclable material. Not sure if you can recycle it? Check it up from your local recycling website.

Top plastic recycling tips

Be conscious of what you throw in the recycling bin. Here are a few recycling best practices for you to play your part.

  • Keep plastic bags out of the recycling. Plastic bags can get caught in the sorting equipment at recycling facilities. Recycle plastic bags while shopping instead. You can sometimes bring plastic bags to retailers that take them.
  • You can’t recycle dirty plastic. If the plastic isn’t clean, it could contaminate an entire load of plastics and end up being sent to a landfill. Remember to rinse out and wash your plastic before you recycle them.
  • Don’t recycle anything smaller than a credit card, like bottle caps, straws. They are tiny and can jam the recycling equipment.
  • Do not bag up your recyclables. Skip the plastic garbage bag and just toss your recyclables loosely in the bin.
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