Resolving To Be Greener In 2013?

 

A recent national survey found that many Americans plan to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle in the coming years, and they are looking for simple steps to help the environment. With the rapid rise in access to recycling—particularly plastics recycling—it's now easier than ever for Americans to keep New Year's resolutions to live a greener life.

"Americans want to recycle more and create less waste to reduce their impact on the earth," said Steve Russell , vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, which sponsors the Plastics Make it Possible initiative. "While there are many simple steps people can take to help the environment, recycling more plastics and other materials is one of the simplest resolutions to keep. With the widespread availability of recycling and the growing number of products made with recycled content, it's never been easier to recycle, to buy recycled, and even to wear recycled."

To help support those resolutions, Plastics Make it Possible offers some tips on recycling in 2013 ... and beyond.

>>Recycle More: To recycle as much as possible, consumers can quickly find out which plastics and other materials are accepted for recycling in their community by contacting their local municipality or visiting earth911.com and entering their zip code.

Plastic beverage, shampoo, and detergent bottles and their caps are recycled almost everywhere—more than 90 percent of communities collect them. More than half of households also can recycle containers for yogurt, margarine, cottage cheese, and similar products in their communities. And consumers can recycle plastic bags and product wraps, such as those from toilet paper, diapers, and dry cleaning, by returning them to participating retail stores, including Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's, and many large grocery chains.

>>Buy Recycled: Recycled materials, such as plastics, are increasingly used to make many of the popular products consumers use every day. Seeking out products and packaging made with recycled materials allows these resources to live a second life by closing the "recycling loop"—and it creates demand for even more recycling and recycled materials.

For example, some plastic bottles and containers now are made with recycled plastics (it's often identified on the label). And it's fairly easy today to find durable kitchenware made with recycled polypropylene plastic from bottle caps and food packaging. Attractive outdoor furniture made with recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic from milk jugs also is growing in popularity—the durable plastic makes these pieces weather-resistant and virtually maintenance-free. And a popular line of outdoor decking is made from a combination of recycled plastic bags and reclaimed wood. The number of products made with recycled materials continues to grow every year.

>>Wear Recycled: Once reserved primarily for rugged, outdoorsy garments, recycled-plastic fabrics now can be found in a wide variety of stylish clothing available at mainstream retailers.

To make these recycled-plastic fabrics, used plastic beverage bottles typically are melted down and stretched into a fine thread, which then is woven into soft, durable fabrics. Recycled-plastic fabrics have become popular with celebrities and fashion industry leaders, as a component of an "eco-chic" green movement. These fashions allow consumers to do something good for their wardrobes and the environment.

For more information on how plastics can help consumers live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, click here.