Source:American Chemistry Council

November 15 was America Recycles Day, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and a great time to think about purchasing products made with recycled materials. This year, a survey of American consumers conducted online in October by Harris Interactive on behalf of Plastics Make it PossibleSM, an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, finds that “being green” is not only about recycling plastics and other materials but also about closing the “recycling loop” by purchasing products made from the materials that Americans recycle every day.

 According to the survey, nearly 83 percent of Americans say they feel more “green” when buying products for the home that are made from recycled plastics or other recycled materials. Additionally, 81 percent of Americans say they want to buy and/or wear clothing made from recycled materials.

“America Recycles Day is the perfect time to celebrate closing the ‘recycling loop,’ and it’s exciting to hear that more Americans are interested in innovative products like clothing and home furnishings made from recycled plastics,” said Steve Russell, vice president, Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council. “As consumers, we have so many options these days to buy products that not only look good but also make us feel good about helping the environment. And it goes well beyond fashion – many plastics can be recycled and given a second life as carpeting, furniture, backyard decks, new bottles and bags, and other products we use every day.”

To encourage consumers to recycle more and “close the loop,” Plastics Make it PossibleSM offers the following tips for recycling everyday plastics.

1.      Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling in your community and where they can be taken. Recycling programs vary across the country, but most community curbside programs collect plastic bottles, and many grocery and retail chains now offer bins to collect plastic bags and wraps for recycling. An increasing number of communities are also collecting rigid plastic containers such as yogurt and butter tubs.

2.      Look beyond water and soda bottles – a “bottle” is any container with a neck or opening that’s smaller than its base. Recyclable plastic bottles may include milk jugs, beverage containers, bottles from salad dressing, oil and other condiments, food jars for items like peanut butter and mayonnaise, and bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and household cleaners.

3.      Know what to recycle with your bags at grocery stores. When you recycle your plastic bags, include all bags from grocery, retail and dry cleaning stores, plastic bags that cover newspapers, and product wraps from items such as bread, paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers.

4.      Bring bottles back to the bin. When away from home, replace the cap and store empty bottles in a backpack, briefcase, or the car until you arrive home and can toss them in the recycling bin

5.      Put bags in a bag. Storing plastic bags and wraps in a plastic bag offers neat, convenient storage. Simply knot the handles and drop them in a recycling bin at a participating grocer or retailer.

6.      Pitch in beyond the kitchen. While many recyclable plastic bottles, bags and wraps come from the kitchen, don’t forget to check the bathrooms and laundry room for shampoo and detergent bottles and bathroom tissue wrap.

7.      When in doubt, leave it out. Be careful not to contaminate your recyclables with garbage or items that aren’t recycled in your community.

8.      Bridge the second generation gap. Remember that recycled plastics go on to become second generation products such as carpeting, fleece jackets and new bottles and bags. For example, it takes only eight recycled plastic bottles to create a soft, new t-shirt. Look for innovative products made from recycled plastics at your favorite retailer.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide from October 7-11, 2010 among 2,699 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, visit  

About Plastics Make it PossibleSM

Plastics Make it PossibleSM highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems and help us design a safer, more promising future. This initiative is sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council.

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