You’ve learned what toiletries and other bathroom items you can recycle, gotten into the habit of bathroom recycling, and even found a perfect bathroom recycling container. But everyone loves a breakdown, so here we present some fun facts and figures about recycling in the bathroom:
#1 and #2: The plastics (PETE and HDPE, respectively) that are most often used for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, baby powder and other toiletries. These are the most-commonly accepted plastic types by home recycling programs, too.
#5: The type of plastic (PP) that is usually used to make bottle caps. Not all curbside programs accept #5 plastic, so be sure to check with your hauler before adding it to your bin. Also ask how they like their caps: Some recycling facilities prefer for you to leave the caps on, and some will request you take them off. If your curbside program does not accept #5, look for a drop-off or mail-in program for #5 plastics.
60%: The percentage of consumers who have access to curbside recycling programs that accept #1 and #2 plastics1. (To see if you’re in the lucky majority, check with your hauler to see if they accept them!)
40%: Roughly the number of people who do not recycle bathroom items at all1.
1 in 5: The number of Americans who consistently recycle in their bathrooms1. (If you’re one of them, give yourself a pat on the back!)
20%: The percentage of people who don’t realize that bathroom products are recyclable1. (You’d be surprised at how many products in your bathroom are recyclable — check out our list of 8 Bathroom Items We All Forget to Recycle to learn more.)
25-44: The age range of people who recycle the least. (C’mon, Gen X, let’s go!)
32 Million: The amount, in tons, of plastic waste generated in 2011.
8%: The portion of the total plastic waste in 2011 that was recovered for recycling.
$485 Million: The value of plastic wasted in the United States in 2009.
552 Million: The number of standard-sized shampoo bottles that could end up in the landfill each year if we don’t recycle.
All these numbers add up to 1 simple fact: Recycling in the bathroom is just as important as it is in every other room of the house.