In our quest to conserve resources and reduce waste, recycling has become an important part of our daily lives. While most of us are familiar with common items like glass, paper, and plastic, there are many surprising items we can give a new life through recycling. Prepare to be enlightened as we delve into these five things you never knew you could recycle.
Bubble wrap, a transparent plastic material laden with air-filled bubbles, is widely used for packaging fragile items due to its cushioning properties. Though people often toss it in the bin after a single use, you might be surprised to learn that bubble wrap is recyclable. Bubble wrap is made from low-density polyethylene, which is a Category 4 plastic. It can be recycled into a variety of products, such as trash bin liners and landscape fabric.
Skin Care Products
Skin care products such as creams, lotions, and serums usually come in neat packaging like bottles, jars, and tubes that often end up in landfills. But many of these containers are made of materials like glass, plastic, and metal, which you can recycle. Companies like Terracycle, for instance, offer recycling programs in which you can send in your emptied skin care packaging, regardless of the brand. Additionally, some companies are consciously moving towards eco-friendly initiatives, offering in-store recycling programs through which you can return used containers for recycling. Knowing how to properly recycle your skin care products helps to ensure you do it correctly.
Crayons, those vibrant tools that fuel our childhood creativity, are not typically associated with recycling. However, you can give them a new life beyond the drawing board. Made from paraffin wax, old, broken, or unused crayons can be melted down and molded into new shapes; and it’s a fun and eco-friendly project to do at home. Alternatively, there are organizations like the National Crayon Recycle Program which collect unwanted crayons from all over the country and repurposes them into new ones.
Wine corks, often discarded after the bottle is opened, have immense recycling potential. Typically made from the bark of cork oak trees, these corks are 100% natural, biodegradable, and recyclable. They can be ground into granules and transformed into a range of products, from flooring tiles to building insulation and even sports equipment. Several organizations, like ReCORK and Cork Forest Conservation Alliance, have drop-off locations and mail-in options to make cork recycling easy and accessible.
Carpet may seem like an unusual candidate for recycling, but it’s more recyclable than you might expect. Old and worn-out carpets can often find a new life instead of ending up in a landfill. Carpets are made from a variety of materials, including nylon, polypropylene, and wool, which can be broken down and reused. Organizations such as Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) work toward reducing the amount of carpet waste by promoting carpet recycling. They facilitate the collection and processing of post-consumer carpets. The recycled carpet materials can be turned into a range of products, including new carpets, car parts, insulation, and even furniture.
Now that you’re aware of these five surprising things you can recycle, you can take the necessary steps to recycle your old items today. Every small action can lead to significant change.