Want to Know Where to Recycle Your Bottle Caps?

recycling plastic bottle caps

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Keep saving your lids for the next time you need to buy some more shampoo or lotion at Aveda. The company accepts all polypropylene (plastic #5) lids for recycling at its stores, which you can quickly search for using Earth911.com.

Did you know that bottle caps are generally a different type of plastic than the bottles themselves? Put down your water bottle for a second and flip it over. On the bottom, you’ll probably see a triangle with chasing arrows and a “1” on the inside. That means that the bottle is polyethylene, a plastic generally accepted for recycling in most curbside and drop-off programs. But have you checked out the lid yet?

More than likely, the lid doesn’t have a number on it. Or, if it does, it’s a different number than the bottle itself. The problem with this is that, sometimes, your recycler may not accept this different plastic, and the lids end up getting sent to landfills in the recycling process.

You can determine if you have the right kind of plastic by checking to see if the lid is:

  • Bottle caps usually require a separate recycling process from the bottles themselves. Aveda recycles plastic#5 caps at its stores.

    Bottle caps usually require a separate recycling process from the bottles themselves. Aveda recycles plastic#5 caps at its stores. Photo: Flickr/Bridget Benton

    A twist top, or a cap with a threaded neck (think: shampoo, water, soda, milk)

  • A flip-top cap from a tube or food product bottle (think: ketchup, mayonnaise)
  • A laundry detergent or peanut butter lid
  • Rigid and resistant to tears (think: can you bend or break the lid with your hands?)

The program doesn’t accept lids like yogurt lids, pharmaceutical lids, tub lids (like margarine or cottage cheese) and non-screw top lids.

Once collected, the caps are recycled and turned into new packaging for Aveda products, like hair color and shampoo.

Just think: by the simple act of saving your bottle caps and jar lids for your next trip to the mall, you’ll also end up saving valuable plastic from getting trashed and possibly prevent a marine animal from attempting to eat these colorful caps.

(Don’t have an Aveda near you? Whole Foods is another national retailer that is now collecting plastic #5 products.)