If you've ever been curious about what happens to recycled plastic, you're not alone. In the United States alone, 840,000 tons of plastic plates and cups, 3.4 million tons of diapers, 8.2 million tons of clothing and footwear, and 910,000 tons of sheets, towels, and pillowcases end up in landfills each year, among other things.
In hopes of reducing the amount of trash going to waste dumps each year, we've compiled a list of the five top recycling myths circulating today. You may be surprised to learn that recycling is not as burdensome as you may think. And, once you know the truth, the steps you can take toward a greener planet will seem that much more accessible and rewarding.
Recycling myth #1
One popular recycling myth circulating today is that it requires more energy than it's worth.
However, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recycling just one ton of aluminum cans conserves an amount of energy equivalent to consuming over 20 barrels of oil. To save energy in a way that's entirely worth it, challenge yourself to recycle and encourage others to do the same.
Recycling myth #2
Another recycling myth is that recyclables need to be washed before they're in good enough shape to be put in the recycling bin.
Recyclables only need to be emptied and do not have to be in "good shape." Rinse your recyclables quickly, but only if they're soiled.
Recycling myth #3
Recycling myth number three is that if you put the cap on a bottle, it isn't recyclable. Actually, plastic recyclers aim to recycle all they can — so you can typically keep the lid on most plastic bottles when recycling!
Recycling myth #4
Another common myth is that everything can only be recycled once anyway, so it's going to end up in a landfill eventually.
Actually, plenty of everyday items can be recycled many times over, and doing so saves a substantial amount of energy. Metals and glass, including aluminum, can be recycled indefinitely without compromising quality.
Recycling myth #5
Recycling myth number five is that products that contain more than one type of material can't be recycled. While this may have been true at one point in time, our recycling technology is now more advanced so recycling providers are able to accept more items.
Join the clean ocean movement and recycle today
If you're wondering if recycling is worth it, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Small acts add up — like recycling plastic and glass products in your home or workplace — to make a difference.
At 4ocean, we make use of post-consumer plastic and glass to make our products. Our bracelet cords and beads are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic and glass bottles, and we donate at least one percent of our revenue to support nonprofit environmental conservation organizations.
All of our sales go toward helping clean the ocean and educating people about the ocean plastic crisis, through employing the crews that go out and clean the ocean, donations to charities, volunteer events, and more. Because many of our efforts are preventative, we need your help to stop plastic from entering the ocean in the first place.
Whether you spread the word about the ocean plastic crisis, recycle plastic whenever and wherever you can, buy one of our featured bracelets, or shop our organic apparel, your efforts to join the clean ocean movement are more significant than you know!