Opinion: We can do better with recycling

This Sunday, Nov. 15, is America Recycles Day. It provides a great opportunity to reevaluate your families’ recycling habits.

Every day, recyclable items are turned into a host of new products, including shoes, clothing, and new bottles or cans, giving “single-use” items multiple lives while keeping discarded items out of landfills. Recycled plastics can even be turned into carpeting and furniture. Plastic items with a triangle symbol labeled No. 1 or No. 2 (often stamped in the plastic itself surrounded by the recycling arrows) are the most easily recycled and in most demand for making new products. Plastic bottles for water and soda drinks are examples of 100% recyclables, as are many other “single-use” containers.

On Nov. 15, we should celebrate the strides we’ve made, but look to do better. Today the U.S. recycling rate is 34.5%. We can easily get the rate to 75%. With that standard we will improve the environment as if we removed 50 million cars from our roads.

James Bowers,

Managing director for the Campaign for Recycling Awarenes

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