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Pros & Cons of Recycling Plastic Bottles

By Denise Stern ; Updated June 13, 2017

These days, we're encouraged to recycle, both at home, in the office and in the outdoors. Recycling all types of materials, from paper to plastic to Styrofoam, helps reduce the amount of trash going into landfills across the country and offers the opportunity to reprocess and re-use items to create objects, fabrics and items that we never would have imagined. According to Alive.com, recycled plastics are used to create carpet fibers, clothing and dishes, just to name a few. However, as with just about anything, there are pros and cons to recycling plastic containers for various uses, both within our personal lives and for the environment.

Con: Toxic Waste

Some plastics, when recycled or burned, release toxic waste or fumes from chemicals inside the plastic out into the environment. Some recycling facilities don't take green plastic bottles, such as those used to create soft drinks like Mountain Dew or 7-Up.

Con: Time

Recycling takes time, which many people claim they don't have. Sorting and separating daily household or office trash takes time to separate papers from magazines, and clear plastic from colored plastics. Plastic bottles hold everything from soda to ketchup and peanut butter or shampoos, each which may require different handling or sorting instructions.

Pro: Environment

Recycling plastic bottles of all kinds helps reduce the trash deposited in landfills, and offers the opportunity for consumers to clean and reuse containers for everything from water spritzer bottles to holding excess amounts of shampoos, cleaning fluids or lotions. AllPlasticBottles.org suggests recycling all plastic bottles that contain PET or HDPE labels somewhere on the bottle, most often found on the neck of the bottle to make separation of recyclable and non-recyclable plastic easier on consumers.

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