America’s Going Green For The Holidays

Approximately 25 percent more waste – an extra 5 million tons – is generated during the holidays compared with the rest of the year. However, according to a recent national survey conducted online in October by Harris Interactive on behalf of Plastics Make it PossibleSM, 86 percent of U.S. adults plan to reduce their impact on the environment over the holidays this year. Two out of three of those adults who know how they plan to reduce their impact on the environment over the holidays will do so by recycling the plastic shipping, mailing and packaging materials that protect the gifts they receive.

 “Much of the waste we generate during the holidays is recyclable, so it’s exciting to hear that many Americans are planning to do their part to recycle more this holiday season,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. “In addition, many consumers are going a step further by purchasing holiday gifts made from recycled materials.”

To encourage consumers to “trim their trash” while trimming their trees, Plastics Make it PossibleSM, an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, offers this holiday “how to” with 10 tips to make the season a bit greener.

1.     Waste not, want not. This holiday season, look for wrapping and shipping products made from recycled materials. When wrapping holiday presents, look for gift bags and bows made from recycled plastic. When shipping holiday gifts, use plastic bubble wrap, envelopes, plastic shipping tape, and plastic air pillows that are made with recycled plastics.

2.      Boost your recycling IQ. Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling in your community and where. Recycling programs vary across the country, but most curbside programs collect plastic bottles.  In addition to bottles, many communities recycle plastic containers such as yogurt cups, butter tubs, trays and lids. lets you search by zip code to find out what and where to recycle in your area. You can even download Earth911’s iRecycle app to your smartphone and recycle on-the-go.

3.       Look for more bottles. Look beyond water and soda bottles. A “bottle” is any container with a neck or opening that’s smaller than its base. Plastic bottles include egg nog and liquor bottles as well as milk jugs, beverage containers and bottles for salad dressing, oil and other condiments. Many food jars such as those for peanut butter and mayonnaise often are recyclable, plus bottles for shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and household cleaners.

4.  Don’t flip your lid. Remember to twist caps back on bottles before you recycle them.  Recyclers want caps, too.

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