Plastic caps and lids want to be green too.


As I explore the world of recycling, I am amazed at how much variation there is in services available to us to do the right thing.  Let’s take plastic, for example.

We all know plastic disposable water and soda bottles are recyclable. (By the way, only 11 states have some form of deposit/redemption program in place.  More on that in a future post).  But depending on where you live, many other forms of plastics are recyclable.

For the record, in 1988, the Society of Plastics Industries Inc. (SPI) defined a plastics numbering code system based on the type of plastic resin at the urging of recyclers around the country.  We see these all the time now on the bottom of containers.  (Now you know who created it!)  Codes 1-6 cover the six most common resins and code 7 is classified as “other”.:

plastic-codesWhere I live, we have curbside pick-up and they accept everything above (with the exception of Styrofoam packaging pellets which, it turns out is included in code #6). Per their instructions, we remove the caps and lids, rinse out the containers and toss them in the recycle bin.  But what about those caps and lids?

look-for-numberWhat I did not know until I confirmed it today by phone was that our recycling service also recycles the caps and lids.  These are often made of a different resin than the bottle or container.  If you look inside the cap, you can see if it has a recycling symbol.

Be sure to check with your local recycling service periodically to find out what’s new, what they currently accept.  And if you have a question or your documentation isn’t clear, it’s best to call and ask for specifics.  For years, our provider didn’t accept the caps and lids.  At some point, that changed, but wasn’t well advertised.


Thirsty for Green from Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog

Lets get those caps and lids back into the recycle loop, so they don’t end up floating around in the pacific garbage patch, or becoming the eyes or nose of one of Artistatexit0’s river trash characters.

See more at his blog:  Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog

Chad M. Wall


2 responses to “Plastic caps and lids want to be green too.

  1. I’ve always wondered about the recycle numbers and – bonus! – now I know not only what they indicate but who established them. Good advice, too, to call your recycling service. I don’t know why that’s never occurred to me before! 😉

  2. Pingback: The Problem With Plastic Recycling Code 7 (Other) « Eco-Trash Solutions

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