Bull dozer collecting scraps at recycling plantAmericans are in love with their bottled water to the tune of about 50 billion plastic water bottles used in this country each year. Of that total, only 23 percent are recycled. The balance ends up either in landfills where they will remain undecomposed for nearly a thousand years or as plastic debris floating in the world’s oceans. In total, we throw away about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year including bottles. Only 6.5 percent of that is recycled.

No one is more aware or concerned with these statistics than the plastic manufacturers themselves. Along with auto recyclers, one of the first industries to encourage recycling on a national level, plastic makers created a website, PlasticsMakeitPossible.com, to promote plastic recycling programs that improve our lives and aim for a more promising future through recycling. The website is sponsored by America’s Plastics Makers™ through the American Chemistry Council.

America Recycles Day

To promote America Recycles Day on November 15, Plastics Make it Possible® is offering ways on how to increase types of plastics we collect for recycling.

1. Many people think that plastic bottles are the only plastic items that can be recycled. In fact, a great many other plastic containers are recyclable other than drink bottles. Individual communities and trash disposal companies have lists of plastic items they can recycle.

2. This year the America Recycles Day theme is “Bathrooms, Bags & Gadgets.” The plastic makers using November 15 to remind you to toss items found in the bathroom like shampoo bottles into your recycle bins right along with the empty plastic drinking bottles.

3. Check the kitchen as well as the garage for other plastic item you can recycle. Plastic packaging for gardening supplies, laundry supplies, cleaning products and plastic packaging materials are items we tend to overlook but should end up in your home recycling bin..

4. All of those plastic container lids and bottle caps we tend to throw away are also recyclable. In fact, if you’ll place the caps back on the plastic bottles, it will speed up the recycling process.

Recycling bins are not always nearby or convenient to get to. If this is the case, people are encouraged to pack their plastic recyclables in plastic bags and accumulate them for an occasional trip to a recycling center or collection point.

Keep America Beautiful

To encourage more interest is recycling, the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) organization, in conjunction Plastic Makes it Possible, is conducting a sweepstakes that will run from November 8 -22. Winners will receive a 16GB iPad (refurbished and recycled, of course).

Fortunately, conservation and recycling programs sponsored and conducted by industries like plastic makers seem to be resonate with the younger generation of school-aged children. Many youth groups like the Scouts and little League Baseball use recycling drives to earn money for their organizations. Hopefully, their youthful enthusiasm will carry on in to adult hood and result in a more recycle-conscious society in the future.