Community

Your Guide To What’s Recyclable And What Isn’t

published by: Carvajal Packaging on 02 / 07 / 2020

Admit it—you don’t really know the ins and outs of modern-day recycling. The truth is, incorrect recycling habits are more harmful than you might think. Many aspirational recyclers, or well-intentioned people with detrimental recycling habits, have surfaced with the discussion of climate change. Do the planet a much-deserved favor and avoid being an aspirational recycler. Use the following guide to help you become familiar with what can be recycled, and what can’t.  

Items that can be recycled:

  • Office paper, magazines, junkmail, and newspapers
  • Cardboard
  • Green, clear, and brown glass bottles and jars
  • Juice and milk cartons (rinsed and free of residue)
  • All plastic bottles and containers marked (no lids)
  • Steel and aluminum cans
  • Empty aerosol cans

Items that can’t be recycled:

  • Plastic bags
  • Food waste
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Garden waste
  • Styrofoam
  • Bubble wrap
  • Syringes and other medical waste
  • Dead animals
  • Oils
  • Ceramics, ovenware, and lightbulbs
  • Mixed-material items

  Once you’ve recycled your materials, a truck picks it up and takes it to the sorting facility, where waste management spends a lot of time and energy sorting out the papers, plastics, cardboard, and aluminum. When all materials are sorted onto a conveyor belt, they’re sent to a mill, which is where the formal recycling process takes place. When the wrong material slips through the sorting machine, it damages the mill. This is a very complex and labor-intensive process, so we should all strive to do these hard workers a favor and recycle with care.

Of course, the best way to practice sustainability is to be a smart shopper in the first place. Before purchasing something, examine the container for mixed materials. If the bottom is metal, the lid is plastic, and the sides are paper, it’s unlikely to be recycled, and waste management will sort it out. Be advised that if you put your recyclables in a trash bag, one of two things will happen: your materials will be sent to a landfill, or the plastic bag will shut down the sorting machine. Both of these options do more harm than good. Get into the habit of shopping for packaging that you know is made from recyclable materials, like our Convermex line, which features a complete set of recyclable products for businesses and homes.

 There’s a lot more to recycling than most people realize. Be kind to the Earth, open up the discussion with friends and family, and most importantly, never writing paper be afraid to ask “Can I recycle this?”