Do you have a recycling bin in your bathroom?
Only 10% of Americans do, compared to a surprisingly respectable 45% who have one in their kitchen (honestly, I never would have guessed that high a number).
Out of sight, out of mind: unsurprisingly, people are less likely to recycle bathroom items than they are kitchen items. According to new research commissioned by the Ad Council, 47% of those surveyed said they don’t think about recycling materials in the bathroom, and 52 percent admitted that they have a lack of knowledge around which items can be recycled.
So we’ve come a long way on recycling in general, but there’s always room for a bit of improvement, eh? In 2012, Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash and only about 35% of that was recycled. 27.4% of the trash headed for landfills was paper/paperboard, and 12.7% of it was plastics: both easily recycled.
We can collectively put a big dent in those numbers by changing our bathroom habits. Set up a recycling station in your bathroom for:
- toilet paper rolls
- the cardboard packaging toothpaste, soap and other beauty products come in
- shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, styling product bottles
- deodorant and dental floss packaging
- aerosol cans (like spray sunscreen)
- pill containers
(No curbside recycling from your waste company? Find your nearest recycling centers here.)
Now, most recycling centers will only accept #1 and #2 plastics. Check to see what can be collected in your area, but don’t give up on those harder to recycle items like mascara bottles, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes. Consider collecting those and sending off to Terracycle; some programs have a cost, but most offer free shipping plus a donation to a non-profit organization or school for each piece of garbage that you collect. (Shipments need to be fairly sizeable though, so this is a great way for kids to get friends and neighbors involved as you pool your collected items for shipment!)
What can these items be recycled into? Functional items, like hairbrushes…
When purchasing new beauty items, keep an eye out for products that can be easily recycled; ideally those that are made with recycled materials. Explore the bulk bin of your local co-op, or the handmade wares at your farmers market!
Find out more about how and why to recycle, and what your recyclables can find new lives as at iwanttoberecycled.org.
What do you recycle?
Let me know below and make sure to enter the Amazon gift card giveaway!