Once you know what types of plastics your recycling program accepts, you should follow the “wash and squash” rule—rinse the plastic container before placing in the bin. And don’t forget to twist caps back on bottles and snap lids on containers. Caps and are widely recycled, and lids are recycled more and more frequently. Paper labels can remain on containers.
Flexible plastic wraps and bags (also known as “film,”) are widely recycled across the U.S., but they don’t belong in your curbside bin. Instead, you can bring them to any one of more than 18,000 grocery and retail stores across the country. Include bags from grocery and retail stores, bread, produce and dry cleaning; shipping pillows; bubble wrap; and wraps from napkins, bathroom tissue, diapers and large beverage cases.
Contaminating the recycling stream is costly for recyclers and might cause valuable recyclable materials to be sent to landfill. Resist the temptation to slip plastics or anything else that recyclers don’t want into your recycling bin.