Republic Services Cleans Up Plastics Recycling Myths for Earth Day

To mark Earth Day, Republic Services, Inc. is sharing myth-busting plastics recycling tips to help consumers be better recyclers. Demand is growing for recycled plastic to use in consumer packaging, so it’s especially important that plastic bottles, jugs and containers make their way into the recycling bin.

“Republic Services is committed to helping our customers put sustainability in action. We know people want to recycle, but there are a lot of misconceptions around recycling plastics. This Earth Day we want to clear those up,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability. “By recycling, you can help turn your plastic water bottle into another water bottle. Recycling helps preserve natural resources, reduces emissions and contributes to a more sustainable world.”

Today in the U.S., only about 30% of single-use plastic bottles and jugs are recycled1. While recycling rates are low, demand is high for this recycled plastic. Many consumer brands have pledged to use more recycled content in their packaging, and some states are even requiring it.

The top 5 plastics recycling myths:

  1. Myth: Plastic doesn’t really get recycled.
    Fact: Plastic bottles, jugs, containers and tubs are widely accepted for recycling in communities across the country, and there is strong demand for these materials.
  2. Myth: Anything plastic can go in your recycling bin.
    Fact: Know what to throw. Generally, plastic bottles with necks or handles, or plastic containers and tubs are recyclable in your curbside container.
  3. Myth: Plastic grocery bags can be recycled curbside.
    Fact: Plastic bags require special handling to be recycled and should not go in your curbside container. Return them to collection bins at the grocery or big-box store.
  4. Myth: You should bag your recyclables.
    Fact: Recyclables should never be bagged. Place them loose in your recycling bin. Plastic bags can wrap around and jam equipment at recycling facilities, causing delays or damage.
  5. Myth: Anything with a recycling symbol should go in your recycling bin.
    Fact: The “chasing arrows” symbol generally identifies the type of plastic used in a container or indicates that an item contains recycled content, but it does not mean that an item is recyclable.

Republic Services is advancing plastics recycling and circularity through development of the nation’s first integrated plastics recycling facility. Republic’s Polymer Center will process plastics from recycling facilities across the West and produce high-quality recycled plastic for use in consumer packaging. The first Polymer Center will open in 2023 in Las Vegas, with plans for two to three additional sites for national coverage to follow.

For more recycling tips, visit RecyclingSimplified.com.


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