1000 Flowers for the Planet - #612 Beware Bottle Caps
Lots of people are not going to bother avoiding plastic bottles. The convenience of bottled water and sugary drinks far outweighs their conscience. Many people buy these things because they believe the plastic can be recycled anyway, and that makes it okay, right? Wrong!
If that’s your way of thinking, that recycling the plastic bottle is doing your bit for the planet, then let this suggestion be a little challenge for you. First understand that not everything you put into the recycling bin will be recycled. There are lots of different types of recycling plants and the one in your area may not have the capacity to deal with everything you throw their way. For example, plastic bags can clog up the machinery, causing expensive down-time as the machines are fixed. Importantly, plastic bottles that still have the cap screwed on are often picked out of the heap and thrown into landfill, because the cap holds all the air inside the bottle, preventing it from being squashed to go through the machinery. By removing the plastic cap before you put the bottle into your recycling bin, you increase the likelihood of the bottle actually being recycled.
Note that all of this will depend on the type of recycling plant in your area. You need to educate yourself to know what can and cannot be put through the machinery, particularly if you cannot commit to not creating the waste in the first place. We all have choices. Beware the bottle cap, remove it before tossing it and at least try to do something better than you already do – that will be a great step in the right direction.