8 Tips for Recycling Away From Home

Couple taking a road trip in a vintage convertible

Road trip? Plastics Make it Possible™ has compiled a list of tips to help everyone recycle plastics away from home—at concerts, sporting events, festivals, beaches, camp sites…

Recycling Away From Home Tip #1: Plan It for the Planet

Do some quick research (heard of Google?) on the venue to find out what plastics and other recycling is available on site.

Recycling Away From Home Tip #2: Carry In, Carry Out

Implement the old Boy Scout adage: leave no trace. Bring only what you can properly recycle or dispose of on site (or see Bag it below).

Recycling Away From Home Tip #3: Pick Your Battles (er… Bottles)

Keep in mind that when recycling, a plastic bottle is any container with a neck or an opening that’s smaller than its base. That includes:

  • Milk jugs
  • Beverage bottles (e.g., water, soft drinks, juice)
  • Bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent
  • Salad dressing, cooking oil, condiment bottles
  • Food jars such as peanut butter and mayonnaise (if they fit bottle description above)

Recycling Away From Home Tip #4: Remember to Rinse

Make sure recyclables are fairly clean before tossing them in the bin—if not, rinse them out.

Recycling Away From Home Tip #5: Keep Your Top On

This is sort of new—put plastic caps back on bottles and lids on containers because now recyclers want those, too. And maybe even squeeze out the air from the bottles to save space.

Recycling Away From Home Tip #6: Just Bag It

Bring along several used plastic shopping bags (or store bought bags) for laundry, recycling and waste. And if they remain clean, RECYCLE THEM along with other plastic film/wraps at your participating local grocery store when you get home (check near the front entrance or checkout for recycling bins). Stores that accept bags for recycling will take all clean plastic bags and wraps labeled #2 or #4, including

  • Grocery bags
  • Retail bags (remove hard plastic or string handles)
  • Newspaper bags
  • Dry cleaning bags (remove paper and hangers)
  • Bread bags (shake out the crumbs)
  • Wraps from paper towels, bathroom paper, napkins, diapers and more

Recycling Away From Home Tip #7: When in Doubt, Leave it Out

Plastic recycling opportunities away from home may not be as robust as the curbside or drop-off programs in your community. So if you’re unsure where to recycle something while traveling, simply take it home.

 Recycling Away From Home Tip #8: Close the Loop

Shop for items that include recycled plastic to help “close the loop,” even when on the road. Many music festivals, for example, sell soft, comfy t-shirts made from recycled plastics. And recycled plastics are used to make countless everyday items, such as fleece jackets, carpeting, auto parts, lumber for outdoor decking and more.