recycling program

7 Surprising Ways to Get Rid of Your Plastic

Recycling plastic keeps trash out of landfills and decreases our reliance on polluting fossil fuels—and could earn you reward points or help nonprofit groups.

By Kayla Caldwell


RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—You may never have thought about where your plastic grocery bags came from or how your yoga mat was made. But all that plastic that makes our lives more convenient is made from either oil or natural gas. And with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill still harming southern beaches and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas threatening water supplies nationwide, reducing our dependence on plastic is more important than ever, to reduce our dependence on these fossil fuels. According to the Stanford Recycling Center, recycling one ton of plastic saves 16.3 barrels of oil and 30 cubic yards of landfill space. And the good news is, along with your curbside recycling program, there are more ecofriendly options for ways to getting rid of your plastic than ever before. (Option # 1, of course, is to try and use as little plastic as possible in the first place.)

Here are a few of the more creative recycling programs we found:

#1: "Reverse" Vending Machines

Thirsty? The PepsiCo Dream Machine won't be able to help. But it will collect empty plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and in return, give you points that you can redeem at Pepsi's online partner in the project,, for discounts and coupons at various retailers, such as movie theaters and hotels. This recycling program is slowly expanding across the country, in grocery stores, gas stations, and parks, but at the moment, most machines are concentrated in Southern California and North Carolina with a few locations in Florida, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania; click here to find the locations of Dream Machines and similar recycling kiosks operated by Greenopolis near you. If there isn't one nearby and you don't have a municipal recycling program check out to find other places near you that recycle bottles and cans.

# 2: Re-Gift Card Kisok

#3: Recycle on the Road

#4: Return to Sender

#5: Get Rewarded

#6: Keep Sporting Goods in Play

#7: Precycle!

Published on: July 27, 2010
Updated on: July 28, 2010

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A rewards program for recycling would probably stimulate more people to do more about their recycling habits. Maybe we could even organize a dumpster rental cincinnati ohio campaign and who manages to recycle more, could get a symbolic reward. What do you think?

plastic recycling

Please don't encourage people to pass their plastic on to non-profits! Give poisons to poor people??? That is very insensitive! We probably all have an entire plastic gyre in our homes and need to accept the fact that we can never discard what we have. It is NOT recyclable and never bio-degrades. The only solution is to REFUSE plastics and DEMAND alternatives. If enough voices speak out against the mess we've gotten into, new products will become available. Our oceans and marine wildlife are choked in plastic debris. Web search Captain Charles Moore and Diana Cohen for more information.

plastic recycling and saving water, too.

I have three one gallon plastic milk containers that I keep under the sink in the bathroom.
When I shower, instead of just watching the water run until it is warm enough for me, I use one of the containers to collect the water from the shower faucet. Every shower I collect one gallon of water that I use to shave with and then to water my house plants or outside plants.
At least a gallon a day these last ten years is over 3600 gallons of water.
Every little bit helps.


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