Refilling a high-quality stainless-steel bottle from your water cooler or filter is always our recommended choice for sustainable water consumption. However, we fully understand that there are times that this is not possible and you must turn to single-serve plastic water bottles as the only healthy alternative to satisfy your thirst. Handled mindfully, this option does not have to result in those water bottles ending up at a landfill. In this article, we’re going to show you how to recycle plastic water bottles the right way.
Billions of water bottles are used every year throughout the world. A small portion of them are recaptured and recycled as they were intended to be. Water bottles can be melted down into plastic pellets, which are then sold to companies to produce carpets, clothing, furniture and much more. Plastic bottles are an essential part of this supply chain and you must provide them via curbside or drop off recycling.
You can become a part of this process by learning the proper way to recycle plastic bottles. To assure that you are properly recycling your single use water bottles, follow these simple tips:
How to Recycle Plastic Bottles
Leave the Caps On
It’s common when someone thinks about how to recycle plastic bottles, they want to remove the caps. Water bottle caps are only recyclable in most municipalities if they are twisted tightly onto the bottle. Separated caps wreak havoc on equipment, sending them to the landfill or stalling production. To prevent this, always replace the cap once you have finished drinking your water.
Crush Your Bottle
To properly crush a water bottle, remove the cap, squeeze out all of the air and then put the cap on the bottle until it is secure. The trapped suction will allow the bottle to stay in its new compact condition, leaving more room in your bin for other recyclables.
In addition, space is saved at the processing facility, reducing the need for expansion and enabling more valuable recycling to occur. It’s an example of the positive impact properly recycling plastic bottles can have once it leaves your home.
No Need to Rinse
Although other bottles, cans and jars should be rinsed, there is no need to do so with water bottles. While there’s no need to clean them, they should be emptied and free of any noticeable liquid.
Don’t Bag ’Em
When you recycle plastic bottles, remember to not place your water bottles in a bag or any other recyclables for that matter. Bagged items prevent the process from being completed properly or slow down the system. It might seem like you’re making things more convenient for the recycling plant, but that’s not the case. The bags cannot be recycled and will rob processing plants of man-hours removing them. Water bottles should be placed in your recycling bin or a public bin free of any confinements.
Recycle the Outer Packaging
If you purchase bottled water by the case, the plastic packaging that holds them cannot be placed in your recycling bin. However, it can be dropped off at participating grocery stores such as Heinen’s, Dave’s and Target to be processed along with any other plastic film or grocery bags.
Think of your water bottle. It wants to be more and do more than end its life in a landfill. From flip-flops to backpacks to decking, your water bottle has an entire second life to live. It is up to you to make this happen. Now that you know how to recycle plastic bottles, you can start to make a difference in your community.
Only small portions of plastic bottles get recycled, which is the normal standard for most recyclable material. No single person is going to fix the problem of things not being recycled. But now that you know how to recycle plastic bottles, you can make a difference one plastic bottle at a time.
Learn More About Sustainability with Distillata
Now that you’re trained on how to recycle plastic bottles at home, our free sustainability can give you more information on how you can make a positive impact on the environment.
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