Rinse Out Before Recycling
Empty and rinse out plastic bottles before recycling. This will prevent any liquids from contaminating the recycling process.
Leave Caps Attached to the Bottle
It’s OK to recycle plastic caps and lids as long as they are still attached to their original plastic containers.
Most Plastic Bottles Are Eligible for CRV
Most plastic bottles are eligible for the California Redemption Value (CRV) refund. Find out how to redeem beverage containers for CRV.
What's Not Eligible for CRV
The following types of plastic bottles are not eligible for CRV: Milk, medical food, 100 percent fruit juice greater than 46 oz, vegetable juice more than 16 oz, and food and non-beverage containers.
Avoid Heating Plastic
Keep plastics containing food or drink out of hot places such as your car or the microwave. The warmer plastic gets, the more it tends to break down, melt and release chemicals.
Not Safe to Reuse
Plastic #1 (PET) has a porous structure that absorbs bacteria over time and becomes more porous with each use. Because germs can reside inside the plastic, you can’t always wash them away.
Not Infinitely Recyclable
Plastic isn’t infinitely recyclable in the same way that glass and metal are. Its quality declines each time it’s recycled, so new plastic needs to be added in order to keep recycling it.
Ways to Reduce
Opt for Reusable Containers
Most plastic is made directly from oil and natural gas, not recycled plastic. When plastic does get recycled, it is often into products that are no longer recyclable. Metal and glass, which are durable and can be recycled infinitely, are always a better container choice.
Drink Filtered Tap Water
Disposable water bottles are made of plastic #1 and can be avoided by drinking filtered tap water instead. Most bottled water comes from the tap in the first place, and taste tests in cities such as New York have favored tap over bottled water.