4. Plastic Straws
Green Living Tips provides a handy, downloadable plastic cheat sheet that can help you make sense of plastic recycling numbers. The most easily recycled plastics are those labeled with a recycle number of 1 or 2. Although plastic straws are made of recyclable plastic, number 5, their size and shape prevent them from being easily recycled. In fact, they are likely to jam recycling equipment. For that reason, recycling programs do not accept plastic straws. To save marine life and avoid contributing to the plastic litter floating in our oceans, consider making the switch to paper straws.
3. Disposable Coffee Cups
While disposable coffee cups appear to be made of paper, they are actually lined with a thin layer of plastic to prevent your beverage from leaking. This layer of plastic renders your paper coffee cup non-recyclable. Do slide off and recycle the corrugated paper sleeve that surrounds your cup to prevent burns. Additionally, check with your recycling company to see if they accept the plastic lids from your disposable coffee cup. Toss the little plastic straw or stirring stick into the trash.
2. Aerosol Cans with Liquid Inside
A completely empty metal aerosol can may be accepted by your recycling program. If there is any liquid left inside, the can must be disposed of at a hazardous waste site. In addition to the desired contents of the can, such as hair spray or whipped topping, the can contains propellant chemicals necessary for aerosolizing the product. Your local government agency can direct you to the nearest hazardous waste collection site.