Just say no to plastic water bottles! The epitome of toxic one-use resource wastefulness, water bottles should be eliminated from your daily life. Use a metal refillable bottle, please.
But if you should find a plastic bottle on the roadside, definitely do recycle it in your curbside bin or at your local drop-off center. Need to find the nearest drop-off center?
For an amazing video on the trouble with water bottles, visit www.storyofstuff.org/bottledwater.
Some states recycle far more plastic bottles than Texas. By no coincidence, states with bottle deposit systems have beverage container recycling rates that dwarf ours — and there are efforts to bring such a system to Texas. Learn more about improving beverage container recycling here.
Every year, Americans dispose of over 100 billion single-use plastic checkout bags, each of which takes as many as a thousand years to biodegrade. The amount of petroleum used to manufacture these disposable bags could fuel an average car for over 680,000 miles. Worse yet, they cost us money: some reports estimate that each plastic bag costs taxpayers 17 cents for pick up and disposal.
Some cities have banned plastic bags or added a fee meant to discourage their use, saving tax dollars while saving the planet. There is a group working for a similar solution in Austin called Bag the Bags — learn more here.
The good news: it’s getting much easier to recycle, as all large grocery stores now have plastic bag recycling bins right at the entrance. Grocery stores such as Whole Foods have banned plastic bags altogether and Wal-Mart has pledged to reduce bag use by one-third by 2013. Although many of the programs you’ll see at www.plasticbagrecycling.org don’t go far enough, U.S. retailers are beginning to change their wasteful ways.