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How Do I Recycle Plastic Bottle Caps?


How do I recycle plastic bottle caps?

What’s the take care of plastic bottle caps and plastic lids? Some communities say to depart them out of recycling, some say they’re positive. Some communities need you to depart the caps in your bottles, others need them left off. What’s with all of the totally different guidelines in relation to plastic bottle caps and lids? Are they really recyclable and in that case, how can I recycle plastic bottle caps?

The Hassle with Bottle Caps

The issue with plastic bottle caps begins with the truth that lots of them are made out of #5 plastic (polypropylene), whereas the bottles themselves are often made out of both #1 (PET) or #2 (HDPE) plastic. When it comes time to soften that plastic down for recycling, it could be greatest if several types of plastic weren’t combined in collectively. Strike one for leaving the caps on.

But when the caps and lids are left unfastened within the mixture of recyclables, most of them are so small, they’ll merely fall by means of the disk screens on the Supplies Restoration Facility (MRF). Right here’s a fast video to point out you what disc screens seem like and the way they separate small bits of particles from the bulkier recyclables.

Sadly, most pliable caps received’t make it by means of this course of, they’ll fall by means of into the particles or find yourself contaminating the glass shards. Strike one for leaving the caps unfastened within the combine.

If caps are unnoticed of recycling fully, effectively then that’s only a wasted unrecycled useful resource. Plus plastic bottle caps are an enormous downside in relation to ocean particles and air pollution. Strike one for leaving the caps out of recycling altogether.

Lengthy story brief – all of the choices kinda suck.

Your native MRF (recycling/sorting facility) has been attempting to find out how greatest to take care of this subject. Most definitely they’re deferring to what the top consumer of the plastic prefers (i.e. whether or not the receiving producer is okay with combined plastics, or whether or not they solely need #1 and #2). My program (for now) is asking us to depart caps and lids on. Others request you to depart them off and out of your recycling fully. Verify together with your native recycling program and see what they’d such as you to do.

Is there another option to recycle plastic bottle caps if my program received’t take them?

There was one program that was taking plastic caps for recycling: Protect’s Gimme 5 program. However it went on maintain in the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and as of this writing (Jan. 24, 2022) it’s nonetheless on maintain. I’ve been preserving watch to see in the event that they restart this program hopefully. You might test the Valuable Plastic map to see if there may be anybody close to you accepting caps for recycling. Valuable Plastic is a neighborhood if DIY plastic recyclers.

NEW! Flip your plastic caps right into a bench or picnic desk.

There may be yet another choice I’ve simply found for recycling your plastic caps, and that’s to discover a native firm that makes recycled plastic benches, picnic tables and different outside, heavy-duty sort plastic gadgets. A few of these firms have applications to take your plastic caps and make them right into a bench or desk for you. The draw back is that you just as a person can not merely ship them your plastics, it’s important to be ready to purchase the top product.

This can be a good mission for colleges as a result of they will purchase and put the bench or desk on the college property. I may see this additionally being a chance for a public park. If that is one thing you suppose your children’ faculty or your native park may take part in, you possibly can Google “plastic caps to benches” and the identify of your state to see if there are any firms close to you which have a program like this.

Anybody on the market actively searching for plastic bottle caps for making into recycled merchandise? Please let me know so I can add your information to this text.

(Please don’t write to me asking the place you possibly can take your plastic caps for recycling. I’ve put all the data I’ve on this article and if I uncover something new, I promise I’ll add it right here.)

Go to this text for extra details about what’s going on with the present state of #5 plastic recycling and your choices for coping with this sort of plastic.

Pill bottles

Associated: Can I Recycle Plastic Tablet Bottles?

[ Originally posted 2/11/2021, Updated 1/24/2022 ]

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