How to Recycle Plastic Caps & Lids

Recycle Plastic Caps & Lids
Plastic caps and lids are a thoroughly modern invention and provide a convenience factor that’s difficult to imagine life without, frankly. But their small size and varied composition also raise a real big stink among recyclers and everyday folks alike, along with one big, looming, million dollar question: to remove, or not to remove when recycling?

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Frequent Plastic Cap & Lid Recycling Questions

What does ‘plastic resin code’ mean?

Plastic materials are usually marked with a number that indicates the type of plastic from which it’s made. Consumers can then use this information to determine whether or not certain plastic types are collected for recycling in their area. Look for a number within a triangle on your plastic item to determine the code, but be aware that just because it has a symbol doesn’t mean it is collected for recycling. Learn more at EPA.gov.

Are plastic bottle caps recyclable?

Every city’s recycling program is different, so you’ll need to check with your program or Earth911’s recycling directory before you begin tossing your old bottle caps into the recycling bin.

Plastic caps are typically made from plastic #5 while the bottles they accompany are made from #2. These two types of plastic melt at different temperatures during the recycling process and therefore requiring special processing.

Do I need to separate the lid from the bottle before recycling?

Plastic caps are typically made from plastic #5 while the bottles they accompany are made from #2. These two types of plastic melt at different temperatures during the recycling process and therefore requiring special processing.

It used to be that consumers were asked to remove the plastic lids from their plastic bottles before recycling, but recycling processing equipment has improved enough over the years to make this request less common.

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