One of the less talked about consequences of the pandemic happens to be an issue that the planet as a whole continues to deal with: waste. With the rise of disposables and single use plastics (remember when you could bring your own cup to Starbucks?), recycling is now much more important. However, recycling guidelines can be confusing and unclear, so we’ve put together a little crash course to help reduce your footprint here in Los Angeles.
First, two key points:
- Unfortunately, disposable masks are not recyclable!
- Annoying, but true: they are a health risk.
- Previously, film plastics (bread bags, plastic shopping bags etc.) were a hassle to recycle. Now, film plastics (also known as plastic 4) can be recycled in blue bins!
Here are other items that can be recycled in blue bins:
- All plastics 1-7*, wiped clean when possible.
- All glass bottles/jars, wiped clean when possible.
- All aluminum, tin, metal, and bi-metal cans, wiped clean when possible.
- All shelf stable cartons (ie. egg cartons, milk cartons, cereal boxes)
- All clean, dry paper
- All cardboard boxes
That’s the basics, to check on more specifics go to lacitysan.org.
*What do the numbers mean?
- Numbers are resin identification codes:
- Number displayed (usually) on the bottom of plastics
- Allow recycling centers to sort them and process them in different ways
What are each used for?
- Plastic 1, PET (super common): peanut butter jars, soda bottles etc.
- Plastic 2: higher density, for milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles etc.
- Plastic 3 (PVC): for pipes and occasionally other things like shampoo bottles
- Plastic 4 (film plastic): grocery bags, bread bags etc.
- Plastic 5: syrup and ketchup bottles, bottle caps etc.
- Plastic 6 (multiple forms): CD cases, packing peanuts, single use plates
- Plastic 7: anything else (most complicated to recycle)
Of course, disposables aren’t the only waste we deal with. As a sustainable brand, we’d like to tell you where you could go to recycle textiles as well (if you think they won’t be sold at a thrift store), especially if you’re using this extra time to clean out your closet!
Take your clothes shopping with you as these stores accept donations:
- Bring in an old pair of jeans for $20 credit
- Recycled into housing insulation
- Make an appointment to trade in denim for a gift card
- Or donate denim for 20% of your next purchase
- Marine Layer:
- Accepts t-shirt donations for up to $25 credit
- Santa Monica also has a textile recycling center, located at 2500 Michigan Ave
That’s it, now go out and recycle!
- Article written by Kate Benzian