Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Make Every Day Earth Day For Recycling

(NAPSI)-According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces approximately 1,600 pounds of trash per year. Too much trash going into landfills contains material that can be recycled instead. Here are a few simple tips for recycling plastic bottles and bags on Earth Day (April 22) and throughout the year.

Be Plastics Smart: Find out which plastics are recycled in your community. Though recycling varies across communities, most curbside programs collect plastic bottles and many grocery stores recycle plastic bags.

Recycle These Items with Your Bottles: Milk jugs; beverage bottles (e.g., water, soft drinks, juice, beer); shampoo, toiletry, detergent and household-cleaning bottles; salad dressing, cooking oil and condiment bottles; food jars (e.g., peanut butter, mayonnaise).

Recycle These Items with Your Bags: Grocery and retail shopping bags; newspaper bags; dry-cleaning bags; bread bags; wraps from paper towels, napkins, bathroom paper and cases of soda.

Clean and Empty: Recycle only clean and empty bottles and bags. Unless directed otherwise, remove bottle caps. Do not recycle bags that have food residue or material that has been painted or glued.

Bring it Back to the Bin: Many bottles and bags are used away from home, so remember to bring them back to the recycle bin. When you're out, store them in a backpack or briefcase, or simply leave them in the car until you arrive home or at the grocery store.

Pitch in Beyond the Kitchen: While many recyclable bottles come from the kitchen, don't forget to check bathrooms and the laundry room for recyclable plastics, such as shampoo and detergent bottles.

When in Doubt, Leave it Out: Keep in mind that mixing the wrong types of materials can lower the quality of the recyclables, so include only the items your community accepts. Avoid recycling items such as automotive, pesticide or solvent bottles, the pumps from spray bottles (the bottles themselves should be recycled) and toys.

Remember that recycled plastics are valuable and go on to become second-generation products. Bottles are used to make hundreds of everyday items, including carpets and fleece jackets. Plastic bags can be made into durable backyard decks, fences, benches, shopping carts and new bags.

For more information, visit www.plasticsinfo.org/recycling and www.plasticbagrecycling.org.

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