Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's 3 Rs -- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

TGIF's 3 Rs! Did you reduce waste in your home this week?

Today, we're talking caps ... bottle caps, to be precise. Did you know most bottle caps are made from #5 plastic and most curbside recyclers do not accept them? So, what happens when you throw your soda or water bottle lids in with your plastic recycling? Unfortunately, in many cases, they get sent to the landfill ... exactly where you don't want them!

Fortunately, there is another answer, which I wrote about last June, but thought worthy of repeating. Aveda recycles #5 plastic lids and caps, transforming them into brand new recycled packaging for their salon products. How cool is that?!

Here's what they take:
  • Twist tops or caps with threaded necks (water/soda, juice, milk, shampoo)
  • Flip top caps (ketchup, mayo, dressing)
  • Lids on plastic jars (peanut butter) and bottles (laundry detergent)
You want to look for lids, tops and caps with threading that are too rigid to bend or break with your hands. Make sense?

That obviously eliminates the kid of flimsy plastic lids on margarine tubs, yogurt containers, etc. Just remember -- the lids must screw on. The exception here would be pump or spray tops, which they do not take.

You can find out if there is an Aveda location near you by visiting their website.

Jumping on the bandwagon, in a good way, is Whole Foods, which is also now accepting #5 plastic to be recycled.

So, let's face it. Recycling bottle caps is a bit inconvenient. After all, you have to take them to either Aveda or Whole Foods to be recycled. Here's what my husband and I do to make it a bit easier. We have a large coffee canister on our counter right beside our large kitchen recycling can. When we have #5 lids/caps, we simply toss them into the canister. Then, when I have a reason to head over to the mall (usually to buy something at Aveda), I just dump them in a bag and take them with me. It's really no big deal.

At next year's Recycle Rama, I want to set up a bottle caps and corks recycling station, giving the amazing folks who attend the event two more options for recycling.

Of course, if you can find ways to reuse your caps and lids, that's fantastic. I like to save the plastic lids from mayo and peanut butter jars because they make excellent 'saucers' for 4" potted plants. That's my Reuse Tip for today. Please add your own in the comments section. I always appreciate your creative input!

Keeping it green with the 3 Rs,


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