(NAPSI)—Recycling is one of the easiest ways the average person can help the environment. Not only does recycling prevent items from ending up in landfills, it reduces the amount of raw materials used to make new products. Here are some myths and facts about recycling commonly used food and beverage cartons:
Myth: Cartons can’t be recycled.
Fact: Cartons are certainly recyclable. They can be turned into new products, such as paper towels, tissues and writing paper. They can also be turned into environmentally friendly building materials, in a process that uses no water or chemicals.
Myth: If a package doesn’t have a recycling logo on it, it’s not recyclable.
Fact: What can and can’t be recycled varies by community and is primarily dependent on the recycling facility. Cartons can carry the standard “Please Recycle” logo under the Federal Trade Commission’s green guidelines. It’s best to contact your community or check its website to find out what can and can’t be recycled.
Myth: You have to put your recyclables in a plastic bag and then in your recycling bin.
Fact: Plastic bags can jam up equipment at recycling centers, slowing everything down and potentially preventing recyclables from getting recycled. Instead, place materials loosely in recycling bins or carts.
Myth: You have to crush cartons and remove the caps and straws before recycling them.
Fact: Just empty any remaining product. No crushing is required, and the caps can be left on. You may want to stuff the straws back into the carton to make sure they don’t become litter.
Myth: Cartons have a waxy coating and therefore can’t be recycled.
Fact: Food and beverage cartons don’t contain any wax. Cartons are made mainly from paper with thin layers of plastic and, in some cases, aluminum.
Myth: Cartons have multiple layers that prevent them from being recycled.
Fact: The multiple layers in cartons are broken down during the recycling process. The paper is used to make new paper products and the aluminum or plastic can be used to generate energy or become binding. In some cases, the entire carton is used to make building materials.
Myth: Most places don’t accept cartons for recycling.
Fact: Carton recycling is now available for 62 percent of U.S. households—more than 72.5 million homes—through curbside and drop-off programs. To find out where cartons are accepted, go to www.RecycleCartons.com.