Heading to the recycle bin to toss a plastic bottle? Did you know that in many places, you can’t recycle the cap?
Even if you are able to recycle those plastic bottle caps, recycling plastic is very inefficient. When you recycle plastic what you’re actually doing is called downcycling. Each time plastic goes through the recycling process, you end up with a lower and lower grade of plastic. Eventually, that plastic is of such poor quality that it’s headed straight to the landfill, where it doesn’t biodegrade. For plastic, the recycling center is just a pit stop on the way to the landfill.
Many people don’t know that they can’t recycle plastic bottle caps, and when you toss a bottle with the cap on into the recycling, it can cause problems at the recycling center. According to Earth911:
“The simple act of leaving a cap on the bottle has also traditionally created problems at the sorting facility. When bottles are crushed for shipment, caps can shoot off at high speeds, causing a safety hazard for recycling workers. Or if the bottles arenít crushed but caps are left on, the bottles retain air and take up too much space, meaning fewer bottles can be transported for recycling.“
That’s no good at all! If you’re not craft-minded, reusing bottle caps might not be high on your to do list. Luckily, there are some resources for recycling those suckers. Check out the next page for deets!
Next>> Resources for Recycling Bottle Caps
Creative Commons photo by stevendepolo