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Recycle Better with This One Trick

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Challenge of the Day: Recycle Better with This One Trick

Challenge of the Day: Recycle Better with This One Trick

While most plastic containers are made out of easily recyclable material, the majority of their caps and lids are not. "Plastic bottle caps can really gum up the works at the recycling plant," says Whole Living eco-expert Mindy Pennybacker. They're typically number 5 plastic, which has a much higher melting point than the bottles, which are mostly number 1. If you don't want to throw out the tops, Pennybacker suggests mailing them to the ReCap Company in Ohio.

For help on today's challenge, get our recycling basics.

Tell us if you're up for this Challenge of the Day after the jump.


Tomorrow's challenge: Spend an Extra Hour on Yourself
Yesterday's challenge: To Do This Weekend: Lose the "To Do" List
Pledge past challenges here.

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Comments (6)

  • I have heard this about the caps before, but please don't throw them in the trash, they end up in landfills and even in lakes/oceans. Sea creatures can eat them and die. Please recycle through the company above or aveda recycles them for their bottle tops

  • Whole Foods also has bins where you can deposit no. 5 plastics. They turn them int toothbrushes or something like that.

  • I used to take them off when our city only accepted plastics #1 & #2. But now we can mix all recyclables together--glass, plastic, aluminum and they don't state that any # plastic is not accepted. So I've started including the lids and #5 plastics. Do you think this is not good?

  • The link in an email from Martha offered was a way to mail away bottle caps for recycling--
    When I used the link--I got a sales ptich--and the products I saw on the website appeared to me as though they would use bottle caps that were not re-cycled as well as any re-cycled caps they may be using.
    Instead of a site that offered solutions for recycling--it was SELL SELL SELL. There was no place on the website that gave instructions for mailing in caps for recycling. Clearly the company is more insterested in SELLING than in re-cycling.
    I am surprised that this kind of "fudge" made it past Martha and her high standards.
    PS. Last night a saw a news report about the increase of numbers of women in American prisons--dramatic rise in numbers in the last several years. Perhaps Martha Stewart herself would consider looking at this issue and helping women who might be treated unfairly--probably for the benefit of people who are "selling" prison space to authorities. Martha's love of teaching is largely fulfilled and the internet bank of resources for crafts, cooking, and decorating is already very splendid. Perhaps Martha would consider moving toward social action and speaking out on behalf of women who are unjustly incarcerated. Or at the very least perhaps she would consider establishing a network to support women who are incarcerated in unjust ways.

  • I save the lids and use them in the bottom of my plant containers. They are light weight, help drainage and are reused in a good way. My little way of not putting them in the landfill.

  • Best advice for effective recycling is to get to know your community recycling center's capabilities while also getting to know your trash. These days the least recyclable products are things like styrofoam cups and packing peanuts (#6 plastics). Checkout this story for examples of which plastic is which: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/04/a-vow-to-the-mothership-brittnee-henry/

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