Understanding Recycling: # 1 and # 2 Plastics

The Seven Types of Plastic Part 1

We make recycling easy for our customers and anyone who wants to recycle with our free 265/24/7 recycling drop-off centers. By making recycling more accessible and easy to handle, we hope that it will encourage more people to recycle. There are a few rules for recycling, like what number plastics you can recycle. It’s crucial that all recycling is clean, and that you aren’t mixing in non-recyclable materials.

Recycling Plastic

Plastic is a major problem the world over. Not nearly enough plastic is being recycled, and we want to change that for the good of the planet. There are four ways you can help eliminate or reduce the plastic problem: refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle. The best thing you can do is to refuse as many plastic items as possible, especially single-use plastics. Refuse as much plastic as you can to reduce the demand for plastic. If you do end up with plastic, think of ways to reuse or repurpose each item.

Finally, when you can’t think of another purpose for the plastic item, it’s time to make sure it goes to the recycling center, instead of the dump. If you can’t reuse the item, the recycling center will make sure that the plastic is reused somewhere else through recycling.

Types of Plastic

There are many types of plastic, all categorized by number. It’s essential to understand what types of plastics can be recycled. At our recycling drop-off centers, we accept #1 and #2 plastics, only. Every piece of plastic will have a number engraved somewhere, typically enclosed by a recycling triangle. Look for this number to make sure each type of plastic is recycled correctly.# 1 Plastics

#1 – Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

The number one plastic in the world is single-use plastic soda and water bottles. This type of plastic is called Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and is rightfully categorized at #1 plastic. Only about 25% of all #1 plastics are recycled in the US, which is embarrassing. When they are not recycled, they end up in the oceans, beaches, parks, and streets causing litter and detrimental harm to our wildlife, marine life, and atmosphere. When they end up at recycling facilities instead of landfills, the plastic can be recycled into new bottles or used to make polyester fibers, that can create textiles used for garments and furniture.

#2 – High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

# 2 PlasticsThe #2 plastic items that are most common in every household are the more industrial type of plastic bottles. These are the ones that hold detergents, including big milk jugs. #2 plastics are more stringent and sturdier and won’t weaken due to exposure to elements. Because it is so tough, many larger outdoor items are created using #2 plastics, like planters, benches, and trash bins. Some of these items may be around for a long time. But when it comes time to replace them, be responsible and take the #2 plastics – whether it’s a broken plastic bench or an empty detergent bottle – to a recycling facility.

Make sure all plastics are rinsed off before you drop them off at our recycling centers. Recycling centers are located in Thomas, Gormania, Canaan Valley, Hendricks, Parsons, & Mt. Storm in West Virginia, and throughout Garrett County in Maryland.

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