The Poke Test

The poke test

Most of the time, plastic is a great candidate for recycling. However, there are times when it needs to be thrown away. One of the easiest ways to determine whether plastic belongs in the recycling container or trash can is by using something we like to call the “Poke Test.”  If you can push your finger through it, then the plastic is too soft to be recycled. Flimsy plastic gets tangled in the sorting machinery, causing expensive damage and extensive delays. So even if it says it’s recyclable, things like water bottle wraps, grocery bags and bubble wrap all require special handing. You can take these items to the grocery store to be recycled.

Essentially all plastic bottles, jugs and containers are eligible for curbside recycling, as long as you follow the rule of empty, clean, and dry. Be sure to rinse off any residual food and shake off the water before you place these items in your recycling container. If you want to recycle lids, make sure they’re attached, as they’re too small to get recycled alone. Finally, make sure your plastic isn’t mixed with another material, and if it is, separate them before you recycle them.

By taking these easy steps, you help ensure that the plastic you put in your recycling container sees new life!