Why is recycling better than a landfill?

You may have heard that recycling is better than a landfill—but do you know why that it is? In this article, we’ll show you why you should CARE TO RECYCLE® plastic personal care products like empty shampoo and lotion bottles—instead of tossing them in the trash.

Recycling saves a lot of energy

Creating new plastic products from recycled material (such as recycled shampoo bottles) uses only two-thirds as much energy as it would to manufacture these same new plastic products from raw materials1. In fact, the energy saved by recycling one plastic shampoo bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes!1

Landfills last a long time

If you don’t live near a landfill, you can almost forget that they exist. But landfills do exist, and the items in them last longer than many people expect. According to the National Wildlife Federation®, plastics can take between 100 years to break down in a landfill.1 Recycling is a quick and easy way to help keep plastics out of the landfills for good—so they can be useful instead of simply breaking down slowly.

Recyclable plastics are in high demand

Currently, there are about 1,800 US businesses who routinely handle or reclaim post-consumer plastics.2 While it’s wonderful that so many business are devoted to this worthwhile endeavor, there is one problem—there isn’t enough plastic in the recycling stream for them to work at full capacity! Because so many recyclable items like shampoo, body wash and mouthwash bottles are routinely placed in landfills, not enough plastics are entering the recycling stream for US businesses to meet their full plastic recycling potential.2

How much plastic is not being recycled?

33 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2013. However, only 9 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2013 was recovered for recycling.2 That means that millions of tons of plastic are currently sitting in landfills—where, as we’ve learned, they will continue to sit for hundreds of years, until they have finally broken down.

How can we recycle more?

Recycling in the bathroom is an easy way to keep recyclable plastic containers like empty shampoo and lotion bottles out of landfills.