common recycling myths
Credit: Dru Bloomfield/Flickr

Discard these common recycling myths

Despite recycling being around for decades, many misconceptions persist about what can and cannot be recycled.

Allyson Chiu reports for The Washington Post.

In short:

  • Pizza boxes, even if stained with grease, are recyclable according to the Environmental Protection Agency and should be placed in the recycling bin after removing food scraps and flattening.
  • Not all paper is recyclable. Coated papers, such as glittery gift wrap and thermal paper receipts, often cannot be processed by paper mills due to their chemical coatings.
  • Recyclables don't need to be perfectly clean. A basic rinse to remove major food particles is sufficient, and excessive washing wastes water and energy.

Key quote:

“Grease and cheese in an amount typically found on pizza boxes are not an issue for the recycling process.”

— American Forest and Paper Association

Why this matters:

Clarifying recycling myths helps reduce contamination in recycling streams, ensuring that more materials are properly recycled and reducing the environmental impact. Read more: How BPA and its evil cousins dodge meaningful regulation.

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