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Earth Day resolutions: misconceptions about recycling plastics

In honor of Earth Day, Republic Services, Inc. is setting the record straight about recycling plastic. The company says there’s a growing demand for recycled plastic, and they want to debunk common misconceptions and encourage people to recycle. 

Although many brands promise to use more recycled plastics, and some states even require it, only 30 percent of single-use plastic jugs and bottles are recycled. Republic Services wants to increase that percentage. Pete Keller is the organization’s vice president of recycling and sustainability.

“Republic Services is committed to helping our customers put sustainability in action. We know people want to recycle, but there are a lot of misconceptions around recycling plastics. This Earth Day we want to clear those up,” said Keller.

Here are some debunked recycling myths to help you recycle effectively: 

Myth #1: Recycling plastic is a waste of time because most of it doesn’t get recycled

Fact: There is a huge demand for recycled plastic.

Myth #2: All plastic is recyclable

Fact: Some plastic is not recyclable. Ask your recycling center what plastics can and cannot be recycled. 

Myth #3: Plastic grocery bags can be recycled

Fact: Plastic grocery bags can be recycled, but not curbside. Big-box stores and grocery stores often have places where plastic bags can be dropped off for recycling. 

Myth #4: Recyclables should be placed in bags.

Fact: Always be sure to follow your provider’s instructions. Never bag your recyclables as this can ruin equipment.

Myth #5: As long as it has a recycling symbol, it’s ok to throw it in the bin.

Fact: What is recyclable will vary according to where you live. Contact your local facility for more information.

To help recycle more plastic, Republic Services is currently creating an integrated plastics recycling center known as the Republic’s Polymer Center. This facility will be the first of its kind in the United States and will process plastics in the Western US. For more information, visit

“By recycling, you can help turn your plastic water bottle into another water bottle,” said Keller. “Recycling helps preserve natural resources, reduces emissions and contributes to a more sustainable world.”

So, if you don’t have an Earth Day resolution, perhaps you can resolve to incorporate recycling into your lifestyle. It’s better for us and all the plants and animals that share our extraordinary world.

By Erin Moody , Staff Writer

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