The recycling community has debated for years over what to do with Plastic Caps(KEXON). The plastic industry has even weighed in, trying to set general rules, but every local recycling program has its own preferences.
Much of the confusion with caps stems from the fact that they are made of a different plastic resin than the bottle or jug they secure. Most caps are made of polypropylene (#5 plastic), with some (like sports drink bottles) composed of high-density polyethylene (#2 plastic). Plastic bottles and jugs are typically #1 or #2 plastic.
Plastic Cap & Lid Recycling Preparation
1. For plastic bottles, you need to ask your local recycling program whether caps are accepted before trying to recycle them with the bottle. Some will ask you to leave them on, some accept caps but want them separated, and some will ask you to throw them away.
2. For plastic containers (e.g. butter tubs, yogurt cartons), the lid is usually made of the same material as the base. If the container is #5 plastic, odds are strong that the lid is as well. In these cases, feel free to reattach the lid before recycling if your program accepts non-bottle plastics.
3. If your local recycling program doesn’t accept caps and you know they are made of polypropylene, consider the Preserve Gimme 5 program, where you can recycle all #5 plastics by mail.
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