Monday, June 14, 2010

Throw the Water Bottle Caps when Recycling

My brother was telling me when a water bottle has a cap on it, the entire bottle doesn't get recycled.    He said that 1% of water bottles are actually recycled. Considering the increase of companies selling bottled water, that's a lot of bottles going to waste.  So help out your environment and throw out the bottle caps tops when recycling your water bottles.

I found the post below on the Chattygal blog talking about it.  I also found these supporting articles
http://environment.about.com/od/recycling/a/plastic_lids.htm
http://household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/2007/08/plastic_bottle_lids_and_caps.php
http://www.practicalenvironmentalist.com/conservation-efficiency/what-about-bottle-caps.htm


Recycling Water Bottles and the Caps

When you recycle plastic water bottles, or any other plastic bottle, make sure that you take the cap off before putting it in the recycle bin.  The bottles and the caps are made of different plastic material.  Most recycling plants can recycle the bottles, but not the caps.
The caps are often said to jam machines as well as contaminate the other plastic material if mixed with it when recycled.  Some counties are able to recycle the caps, but you still need to remove them before putting them in your bin.
What happens if you try to recycle a plastic bottle with a lid on it?
If a bottle is put in the recycling bin with the lid still on it, most of the time the entire bottle is thrown out.  It is too time consuming for the workers and plants to remove all of the lids that are kept on the bottles, so they are not recycled.  It is sad that your good efforts my go to waste if not done correctly.
The recycling plant in Orange County Florida is not able to recycle the lids, so they recommend throwing them away in the trash.  I would assume this would also include peanut butter lids, milk jug lids, and other heavy duty caps.
It’s hard to throw out a plastic lids after recycling for so long.  I think with a little brainstorming we can come up with some “bottle cap crafts” before throwing them out.

17 comments:

Suzy said...

thanks for the reminder!

ajh said...

It would never occur to me to leave lids on. I wonder what else gets rejected at recycling centers.

Jamie said...

I had no idea! Thanks for the reminder.

joyRuN said...

Huh - never knew that. And my community center actually collects those bottle caps, so this'll work out beautifully.

Johann said...

That's interesting, I'm sure it's the same here in SA...? I'll have to find out.

Jamoosh said...

There are several options instead of bottled water. The first is to check your water quality report. Many folks don't need to purchase bottled water. Also a home filtration system will pay for itself quickly and has minimal impact on the environment. Further, one who is concerned about the environment can purchase a reusable water bottle and refill throughout the day (FYI - most drinking fountains have filters in them...). Also, check for a recycle number on all plastics - your recycling company should post which ones they can take.

Janet said...

Thanks for the info! I have always wondered about this!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Thanks for the info. I had never heard this before!

Katie A. said...

OMG! I had no idea! I always keep them on! Doh! And I have a giant bag of them right now I was going to dump! Guess I know what I will be doing this afternoon! Thanks!

Black Knight said...

A bit late congrats for you 5k. Interesting post, I think you know that Giorgio and I work in the environmental field too. I am member of a Committee in Brussels and Giorgio .... (ask)

doron said...

I am a recycler in trade and right you are that the caps contaminate the plastic , I have couple tons of the caps and it is not known yet if anyone recycles the caps
if anyone has got an idea it would be appreciative

sunapeegirl said...

I never knew this : ( Now I feel like such a waste..
I try not to drink bottled water but at school there isn't much choice.

Sarah said...

Very interesting...good to know!

lindsay said...

My recycling center has signs about this, but I never knew the reasoning behind it. Weird that they don't make the caps recyclable too?

A co-workers daughter has been collecting caps this past school year for a school fundraiser (x,000 caps somehow = 1hr dialysis treatment for kids) so I was sending them
there but now... I dunno.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I just went to my local recycling center's webpage (Houston, TX) and found that they do accept lids. Yay!

Glad you got the pages listed at the top of your blog. Looks good!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

This is good info to know when I travel out of town, though. Thx!

Ashland Dave said...

Thanks for passing this one Christina. I had no idea they got tossed with caps on. Makes me wonder about other stuff.