I recycle everything, but I always ask myself “Is this recyclable?”
Here’s a great chart that explains what the recycling number means on each package. (Note: We did not create this diagram, so please excuse any typos.)
Let’s briefly address each recycling number.
1. Polyethylene Terephthalate: The most common single-use plastic used today. This is the low-hanging fruit if you need a strategy to reduce your plastic usage. Avoid buying plastic water bottles and simply use a refillable water bottle. For everything else in this category, toss it into your recycling bin.
2. High-Density Polyethylene: Recycle everything with the category 2. But, look for package alternatives for these products. Companies like Dropps deliver planet-friendly detergent. The grocery bags mentioned in this category are those heavy-duty reusable bags.
3. Polyvinyl Chloride: PVC is also known as vinyl. This is truly a durable material but it’s not recyclable. Definitely avoid buying any single-use product with the category 3.
4. Low Density Polyethylene: Category 4 has the biggest opportunity for change in human behavior. So many grocery products use LDPE. The chart states that this category is not recyclable, which is misleading. Yes, you SHOULD NOT throw these flimsy grocery bags and frozen food bags into your recycling. You SHOULD collect them and drop them into the bag-recycling bin at your local grocery store. These are recycled into category 2 HDPE products, even building products like bathroom stalls and lockers....