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It’s no secret that recycling is important. In fact, it’s one of the simplest things we can do to help preserve our environment and keep our planet healthy! 

But it seems as though there may be some confusion out there when it comes to recycling. So, today, we’ll go over six recycling misconceptions and debunk them. That way, your recycling efforts can be as effective as possible. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be helping the planet one can at a time!

Even with common myths like these, you should always check your local recycling guidelines. Some materials may be accepted in one municipality, where they aren’t in another.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at six recycling myths that just aren’t true!

6 recycling myths debunked

1. “You don’t have to rinse out food containers before recycling them”

It’s easy to think of recycling as a simple three-step process: collect, sort, recycle. However, there is an important fourth step that is often overlooked: cleaning. 

Recycling centers cannot accept dirty or food-stained containers because they can contaminate other materials in the recycling stream. In addition, greasy containers can cause problems at the recycling plant where they are sorted by type and composition. 

Though some plants do have a cleaning system – so you don’t have to be meticulous – it’s important to remove as much food and grease as you can. A quick rinse with warm water and soap will remove any lingering food particles and help ensure that your recyclables are clean and ready to be recycled.

2. “Glass, aluminum, and steel can’t be recycled”

Glass, aluminum, and steel are all materials that can be recycled over and over again without losing any quality. 

In fact, recycling these materials actually requires less energy than producing them from scratch. And every time we recycle one of these materials, we help reduce the amount of pollution that is released into the environment from making them. So not only is recycling good for the planet, it’s also good for our wallets! 

Every time we recycle glass, aluminum, or steel, we are helping to create a cleaner, healthier world for everyone – all at a cheaper cost.

3. “Plastic and wax can be recycled together”

There are two main reasons why plastic and wax can’t be recycled: they’re made of different materials, and they have different properties. 

Plastic is made of synthetic materials like polyethylene and polypropylene, while wax is made of natural materials like beeswax or paraffin wax. As a result, they have different melting points and cannot be melted down and reformed together. 

Additionally, plastic is more brittle than wax, so it would break apart during the recycling process. For these reasons, plastic and wax must be separated and recycled separately.

4. “Pizza boxes can be recycled regardless of their grease content”

Have you ever wondered why pizza boxes can’t be recycled? It turns out that there are a few reasons. 

For one thing, pizza boxes are often lined with a wax coating, which helps keep the cheese from sticking. However, this wax coating can’t be removed during the recycling process. 

In addition, pizza boxes are often covered in grease and food residue, which can contaminate other recyclables. As a result, most recycling plants simply throw away pizza boxes. 

So next time you’re finishing up a slice, remember that the box it came in probably won’t be getting recycled.

5. “Styrofoam can be recycled”

Most of us are familiar with styrofoam – the lightweight, white foam that is often used for packaging. It’s a great material for cushioning fragile items, and it’s also relatively cheap and easy to produce. However, styrofoam has one major downside: it’s not biodegradable or recyclable. 

When styrofoam is thrown away, it ends up in landfills where it will take centuries to break down. And because it’s so light, styrofoam can easily blow away, ending up as litter in our parks and waterways. 

So what’s the alternative? Well, there are a few different options. One is to use biodegradable packaging materials, such as paper or cardboard. Another is to reuse styrofoam packaging instead of throwing it away. And finally, recycling facilities are beginning to experiment with ways to recycle styrofoam into new products. 

Whatever the solution, it’s clear that we need to find a way to reduce our reliance on this polluting material.

Here at SomaLeaf, we use compostable packing peanuts that can be added to your compost or thrown into the garbage without a worry because they’ll simply decompose!

6. “You can’t recycle electronics”

When it comes to recycling, most people focus on cans, bottles, and paper. But what about electronics? Just think about all the old cell phones, laptops, computers and other devices that are collecting dust in your home. Instead of letting them take up space, you can recycle them! Here’s why you should… 

Electronics contain valuable materials that can be reused. For example, laptops contain copper, gold, and silver. Recycling just one laptop can save enough energy to power a home for 24 hours!

Recycling electronics reduces pollution. Manufacturing new electronic devices requires electricity and water. Recycling old ones helps to conserve these resources.

It’s easy to do! Most cities have e-waste collection events or drop-off locations. You can also check with your local electronics store to see if they offer a recycling program.

So don’t wait – recycle your old electronics today!

Any other recycling tips?

If you have any questions about recycling, be sure to check your local guidelines. What can and cannot be recycled varies regionally.

And when it comes to recycling, every little bit helps! That’s why we’d love to learn more if we could.

Do you have any recycling tips?

Share it with us! Just email info@somaleaf.com and share your wisdom. We’d love to hear from you!