When it comes to recycling, there are many misconceptions surrounding it. But, what people fail to realise is that these misconceptions can cause serious environmental harm.
There are many different types of plastics, materials or household items that are not recyclable yet end up in the bin every day. That’s why, we’ve listed below some of the most common misconceptions about recycling and what it is that you can do to fix it.
1. Glass Can Be Recycled
Many people are hesitant to recycle glass; thinking that because it breaks it can be harmful to those who are disposing of it. But, glass can actually be re-used and re-manufactured an infinite amount of times. Putting it into the garbage means it is only sitting in a landfill, harming our environment. But, when you recycle glass chances are it will be broken down and re-worked into something new.
2. Plastic Bags Are Not Recyclable
It is important for people to know that all plastic cannot be recycled the same way. Although plastic bags can be re-worked and made into another item they require a different collection system and special processing equipment that most recycling programs don’t have. To recycle plastic bags, take them to a designated drop-off location, or contact your city’s water collector for advice.
3. Remember to Recycle Your Paper
Many become confused when faced with different types or styles of paper. But, it is important to remember that all types of paper are recyclable. This means, everything from standard printer paper, to newspapers and magazines should end up in your recycling bin and not the garbage.
4. Leave the Lid On
There are many misconceptions surround the caps of plastic bottles. Although the caps are also made of plastic, for years the lids had a different melting point than the container. This meant that you would have to remove the hard-plastic lid and recycle the bottle separately to ensure the plastic was broken down evenly and effectively. But, with innovative technology most lids are now the same melting point as the bottle. This means, you are free to leave the lid on your bottles when tossing them in the bin.
5. Remove the Sleeves
Although you can leave the lid of a bottle on for recycling, you still should remove any plastic or paper coverings that surrounds it. These coverings are made of different material than the bottle itself and may have a different melting point. If it has a different melting point it can make it difficult to recycle and reuse. But, when you separate the sleeve you ensure that all of the packaging can be recused with ease.
6. Be Careful with Take Away Containers
Oftentimes fast food or take away counters use ‘clam shell containers’ to put their food in. These containers are made of thermoform which is not accepted into the majority of recycling facilitates and should never be tossed in the bin.
7. Clothing Can Be Recycled
You should never toss your old clothes into the garbage. When you do chances are it will end up sitting in a landfill, rather than being re-used. Even if it seems to be ‘trash worthy’ to you, there are companies and agencies that are willing to take in these old textiles. There are many agencies and programs that accept old clothing or textiles and will handle recycling it properly for you. Whether it be a donation centre, thrift centre or specialty textile recycler- clothing is a valuable resource that can and should be re-used.