Steve Russell, Vice President, Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, explains plastics recycling, including how you can step up your own plastics recycling game.
Video Transcript: How to Recycle Plastics Properly with Steve Russell
“Hi! I’m Steve Russell and I’m here with Plastics Make It Possible™ at the Food & Wine Classic in beautiful Aspen, Colorado.
Which Plastics Can Be Recycled?
“You know, many of the plastics that we use in our kitchen can be readily recycled. A lot of people don’t know, but things like plastic wraps around our bread and food packages and pallets can all be recycled and made into useful new items. Everything from the backing on carpet to new bottles, and even to composite wood decking that we use in our outdoor decks. You know, it’s always important to check what plastics can be recycled. You can do that by calling your community’s recycling center, or going online. But what is important for people to know is that many plastics can be readily recycled.
What About Plastic Bags?
“A lot of people have questions about plastic bags, and the great news is they can be easily recycled, and in fact, most communities accept them. Some of the easiest ways to recycle plastic bags is to bring them back to the grocery store or retail stores that use them. Look for the bins, often in the front of the stores.
What About Plastic Items Outside the Kitchen?
“Well, many of us are familiar with recyclables in the kitchen, whether it’s bags and wraps or water bottles. But if you go outside the kitchen, like to the bathroom or the garage, anything with a neck, whether it’s a detergent bottle or some of the household items that we have in the pantry—anything with a round neck and a closure can also be recycled. That’s a rigid plastic container and there’s a new and growing market for those materials.
What Do the Recycling Codes on Plastic Mean?
“The recycling codes that are found on the bottom or outside of plastics are an indication to the recycler of what kind of plastic resin it is. Check with your community, and communities will specify what number of resin is recycled in your community. If you have any questions about whether plastics can be recycled, you can go to several different websites. Of course ours, PlasticsMakeItPossible.com, or you can go to PlasticBagRecycling.org.