Our success in recycling and managing waste starts with the decisions you make upstream – when you purchase and use materials. Here are three simple steps you can take:
- Buy and use REUSABLE products. This requires some planning, but reuse is the only answer to our disposable culture. At home, minimize your use of plastic storage bags and use reusable containers instead. When going out, plan your trips to ensure you are equipped with clean, reusable bags for your store purchases and clean reusable cups, utensils, straws, and food ware when you hit the restaurants and coffee shops. When choosing a reusable cup, the best kind to get are the kind that have a fully removable top that separates the drinking area from the filling area. Going reusable reduces trash and litter and saves you and businesses money. Please remember to keep your reusables clean - even your reusable bags should be washed or sanitized after you use them to prevent the spread of pathogens.
- Buy RECYCLED products. Look for products that are made with recycled content. You can usually find the recycling symbol and a label that indicates the level of recycled content. Even some clothing is now made from recycled material. The higher the recycled content, the better.
- Buy RECYCLABLE products. Buy things that come in containers that can be recycled easily such as metal, paper and paperboard, and recyclable plastics made with polyethylene (PET) or high density polyethylene (HDPE). These plastics are usually marked with a 1 or a 2 inside the recycling symbol and are currently the most sought-after types of recyclable plastics. Plastics marked of polypropylene, marked with a 5, can also be readily recycled.