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Family recycling encouraged for all PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Each water bottle one recycles might not seem like much, but don’t undervalue the efforts. Those bottles dropped in the recycling bin can be made into dozens of useful items, from new bottles to t-shirts, carpeting and even automotive parts.

Recycling can help save energy, money and land space, create new green jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By getting a whole family involved in the process, it can also be a fun way to do more to protect the environment. And it’s easier than one would think.

A national survey sponsored by Plastics Make it Possible, an initiative of the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, found that nearly 70 percent of households make an effort to recycle. Interestingly, of those homes that make recycling a priority, more than two out of three rely on the women of the house to serve as “recycling enforcers.”

What better time than now for moms and dads to get families recycling?

“It’s encouraging that a majority of Americans are making an effort to recycle at home, but our goal is to get everyone recycling,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. “Many plastics can be easily recycled and given a second life as carpet, clothing, furniture, backyard decks, new bottles and bags and other products we use every day.”

Here are some helpful recycling tips from Russell:

—Do the homework: Find out what is accepted for recycling in the area. Though recycling varies nationwide, most community programs collect plastic bottles and many large grocery chains offer bins for recycling used plastic bags and product wraps.

—Check the neck: For recycling purposes, a bottle is any container with a neck or opening smaller than its base. Be sure to put these items in the recycling bin: milk jugs and beverage bottles; bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and other household cleaners; bottles from salad dressing, cooking oil and condiments; and don’t forget to include jars from things like peanut butter and mayonnaise.

—Bring empties back to the bin: Many bottles and bags are used on the go, so remember to bring them back to where they can be recycled. When someone is out and about, store empties in a backpack or briefcase, or leave them in the car.

—Store bags in a bag: Many large grocery stores offer collection bins so one can bring back used bags and product wraps. These programs allow people to recycle plastic shopping bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning bags and bread bags (with crumbs shaken out). Even plastic wraps from paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, diapers and cases of soda qualify. For neat, convenient storage, place bags and wraps in a used shopping bag until the next trip to the store. Visit for more information.

—Reuse!: There are many ways to reuse things we often toss out. Used bags can become wet umbrella covers, suitcase savers for shoes, hand protectors when handling home messes, waste basket liners and more. Get creative with bags and containers!