How to Recycle Plastic

You Can Recycle Plastic...

But this doesn’t mean everything made of plastic is recyclable. Here’s a quick guide to determine if your heap of plastic recycling is actually recyclable.

Is It Empty. Clean. Dry.® ?

Plastic bottles, jars and jugs are great candidates for recycling. Just make sure they’re empty, clean and dry before you place them into your recycling container. A bottle of ketchup that’s not quite empty can contaminate a whole truckload of recyclables!

Less than a teaspoon of liquid

Does It Pass the Poke Test?

If you can push your finger through the plastic, it’s too flimsy to recycle. Grocery bags, sandwich bags and bubble wrap, for example, all need specific handling, so don’t put them in your curbside bin. You should bring your plastic grocery bags back to the store. Toss sandwich bags and bubble wrap in the trash instead.

The poke test

Is It Contained in a Plastic Bag?

The same way plastic grocery bags can’t be recycled curbside, the plastic bags many put all their recyclables into aren’t recyclable either. In fact, they can get tangled in and gum up the machinery. Put your recyclables directly into your blue recycling container to be sure those loads don’t end up in the landfill.

Bagged recyclables

Plastics You Can Recycle

  • Detergent containers
  • Water bottles
  • Milk jugs
  • Peanut butter jars
  • Ketchup bottles

Plastics You Shouldn't Recycle

  • Grocery & sandwich bags
  • Polystyrene foam
  • Bubble wrap
  • Toys
  • Garden hoses

Ready to Recycle Other Materials?

Paper