What about disposables? Yes, they’re convenient, but
to the waste stream. When thinking precycling…think reusable.
Shy away from paper plates, plastic dishes, paper
napkins, disposable razors and lighters whenever possible. Look
instead to cloth napkins, rechargeable batteries, thermos bottles
and other reusable items. Because less packaging means less waste.
And, last but not least, bring your own reusable grocery bags to the
supermarket with you. Not only are you making a statement, but also
a canvas or plastic bag can be used again and again.
Buying and insisting on recyclable and recycled
product packaging will keep the recycling loop rolling. So, When
you’re shopping, think before you buy, because you really can reach
for a change.
Reach For A Change.
Think Before You Buy.
There is more to recycling than just collecting aluminum cans,
bundling your newspapers, or even separating your plastics and
glass. There’s the first step. And this first step is called
Precycling is technically defined as:
The three arrows of the recycling symbol represent “collection,”
which is the gathering of recyclable materials for recycling,
“manufacturing,” which is the manufacturing of products and their
packaging which is made of recycled materials, and “distribution,”
which is making available new products made from the materials
But what does this really mean to you and I as consumers?
Simply stated: Think before you buy.
Packaging That’s Recyclable.
The essential link in collection. Glass is 100% recyclable, meaning
that no new or “virgin” materials need to be added for glass
containers to become new glass containers. Further, glass can be
recycled again and again without losing any of its qualities. In
Hampton Roads, we can recycle the three colors of glass commonly
found: green, brown and clear. If we recycle our glass packaging,
the only waste left is the lid. Aluminum is another type of
packaging, which is readily available and easily recycled. It is
also 100% recyclable and can be recycled again and again. The most
commonly recycled aluminum packaging is aluminum cans, but in some
local municipal programs, aluminum foil and pie plates are being
accepted. Packaging such as steel cans used for juice, vegetables
and pet foods is also recyclable right here in Hampton Roads.
Plastic packaging is by far the most confusing of all recyclable
materials. Manufacturers have voluntarily labeled their container
with a number 1-7 inside the recycling symbol, as illustrated to the
Here in Hampton Roads reliable opportunities for recycling plastic
only exist for PET 1 and HDPE 2 bottled plastics. The most commonly
accepted plastic within the industry is HDPE 2, which you can easily
identify as plastic packaging with a neck.
When making purchases, look to buying products packaged in
recyclable materials. It’s the essential link in collecting for