The first thing to do is know what you can recycle and what you can’t. In Central Ohio that is determined by SWACO, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. On the SWACO website you can find a complete list of what you can recycle in Franklin County as well as a search tool that tells you whether you can recycle something or not and, if you can, where you can do it.
Of course, the most ubiquitous single-use plastics around are the plastic shopping bags. You can’t put them in the recycling bin, but you can return them to many stores for recycling. Recycling seems like a no brainer, but, in fact, the U.S. population recycles only about 11% of recyclable plastic.
The next thing to do is to shop with plastic on your mind. Got a choice between two brands of a product, the one in glass, the other in plastic? Pick the glass one. Got a choice between loose produce or produce in a plastic clam shell? Pick the loose produce. Don’t buy plastic water bottles. Buy a steel or aluminum one to use again and again. Keep your reusable shopping bags in the car. Take them into all stores, not just grocery stores.
In season, visit farmers’ markets for your fresh produce. There you can find eggs and berries in containers that you can give back to the farmer to be used again. Be sure to hand your shopping bag to the farmer or they may put their produce into a plastic bag!
Finally, reuse unrecylable plastic yourself until it can’t be cleaned or starts to fall apart. Plastic bags are good for dog poop pickup, cleaning cat litter boxes or plastic glove replacements. Plastic jars can be used for left-over storage. Or, you can really get creative and find new uses for throwaway plastic.
However you do it, be a part of Plastic Free July!
Thanks for your commitment to caring for God’s creation!