Plastic #1 (PET)

Check Your Local Recycling Guidelines

Plastic #1 (PET) includes beverage bottles, cups, and other packaging.

Clean Out Containers

If a container once held soap, food, liquids, or other residue, clean and dry the container as well as you can before recycling it. Containers should be empty of residue and lightly cleaned, but don’t need to be spotless! Make sure containers are relatively clean to avoid recyclables being sent to landfill. 

Not Infinitely Recyclable

Plastic isn’t infinitely recyclable as its quality declines each time it’s recycled, and new plastic needs to be added in order to keep recycling it.

Avoid Heating Plastic

Keep plastics containing food or drink out of the microwave, dishwasher and other hot places, like your car. The warmer plastic gets, the more it tends to release harmful chemicals.

To learn more, check out information from the Food Packaging Forum.

Ways to Reduce

Reusable Water Bottle

Opt for Reusable Containers

Most plastic is made directly from oil and natural gas, not recycled plastic. When plastic does get recycled, it is often into products that are no longer recyclable. Metal and glass, which are durable and can be recycled infinitely, are always a better container choice.

tap water faucet

Drink Filtered Tap Water

Disposable water bottles are made of plastic #1 and can be avoided by drinking filtered tap water instead. Most bottled water comes from the tap in the first place, and taste tests in cities such as New York have favored tap over bottled water.

Did You Know?

Bottled Water: Is It the Same as Tap?

Most bottled water is simply filtered tap water, and it can cost more than twice as much as what’s available from the tap.

Largest Plastic Bottle Recycling Plant

The Atlantic details the violent afterlife of plastic bottles. Plastic from these bottles lives as long as 500 years after you toss them. Read more about what happens to the bottles during that time, and why not enough bottles are making it into the recycling system at all.