Plastic Bottles Curbside Recycling 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. 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. Did You Know? Bottled Water: Is It the Same as Tap? Most bottled water is simply filtered tap water, and it can cost more than twice as much as what’s available from the tap. Coke Developed a Recycling Game That Takes Empty Bottles Coke wanted to see if they could get people to recycle who normally don’t if the process was more fun. They dropped off six “Happiness Arcade” games in six locations around Dhaka, Bangladesh to test their theory. They ended up collecting thousands of bottles.