GOOD Guide to Recycling Infographic The Planet

Recycling Plastic Is Surprisingly Complex. Here’s What Happens After the Bin. 

by Jordan E. Rosenfeld Andrew Janik

December 1, 2015
Part 5 of 8 See all ›

The GOOD Guide to Recycling

The objects we discard aren’t trash. They’re a resource.

Launch Infographic

A lot of us have good intentions. When we’re provided the option, we toss what we think of as recyclable trash into a blue bin, and assume our job is over: Our waste will be recycled, and we’ve done our part. But, as we are about to learn, this isn’t always true. All plastic is not created equal. Some plastic, like the eternally reusable PET (also called PETE, and when recycled, rPET) (#1) is inherently reusable—it can be melted down and reused again and again without loss of function. Other plastics, like PVC (#3) are too toxic to warrant much recycling.

Follow this conveyor belt of facts to find out what happens to your plastic after the bin, and how you can become a more conscious consumer.

Many of the items we discard have a lot of potential value. That’s why we're partnering with Arrowhead® to dive into the surprisingly complex world of plastic waste recycling—so we can tackle it together. Let’s increase recycling rates by finding smart, sustainable ways to give the most common objects in our lives a new purpose. Follow along with the GOOD Guide to Recycling in the coming weeks to find out how.

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Recycling Plastic Is Surprisingly Complex. Here’s What Happens After the Bin.