December 17, 2017

Another Great Reason to Recycle

By Julie Samrick 

There was a revolving door of 4 bottoms to change for the 10 straight years my husband and I changed diapers. It was during those diaper years when I first heard about people wanting to ban plastic grocery bags. My first thought was, What will I wrap those really poopy diapers in?!  I assumed we all had good reasons for using plastic bags, and recycling had come so far. Who wasn’t being responsible?


Not long after, I learned about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is miles upon miles of plastic and debris trapped in a vortex in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is no doubt caused by non-biodegradables like all of the plastic garbage bags consumers like me love to have on hand. Needless to say, I now realize how bad for the environment those little plastic bags can be.


How about those ubiquitous, handy water bottles? Despite more awareness about recycling, today only 30% of U.S. plastic bottles are recycled.  Most just get tossed in the trash after only one use.



Arrowhead Waters has come up with a new water bottle called ReBorn and it’s made with 50% recyclable plastic (rPET). Their goal is to make it with 100% recycled plastic,  but there just isn’t enough out there. Here’s where we can help:  Arrowhead says that the more we recycle, the more they can make responsible products such as ReBorn. 


Even though a package says it is “100% recycleABLE,” that doesn’t mean it’s made with recycled plastic. It just means it CAN BE recycled. Look for the PET label instead.


I know that once we are aware of something, we can make it a habit.  Like many Americans, using our family’s recycling bin has become as second nature as using the trash container.  Another positive epiphany happened for me a few years ago when I learned that the metal pull tabs on cans are the most valuable part of the can. Now I lunge for recycled cans when I see those still attached!  I give them to our church, and they, in turn, send them to help pay for the electric bills at Ronald McDonald Houses nationwide.


Make the recycling of plastic bottles part of your family’s routine too and look for the PET label.


Thank you to Arrowhead Waters for sponsoring today’s discussion. Check them out on Facebook.


A credentialed teacher, Julie Samrick is now a stay-at-home mother of four kids and the founder of Kid Focused.


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  1. Amy Strother says:

    Bravo for bringing attention to recycling. I think it is important to be educated on the subject of recycling and to become familiar with the products we purchase. It’s great that Arrowhead is making plastic bottles with 50% recycled plastic, with the goal of 100%.
    If you must use plastic, then of course recycle it, increasing the amount of products that can made of 100% recycled plastic. I do however want to point out that the best thing for our planet would be to use reusable water bottles and avoid the use of plastic altogether. Best practice is to first reduce, then reuse, and then recycle.

  2. Very good points, Amy. Thank you! Arrowhead approached me to spread their message, but you are so right- reduce, reuse, recycle, should be the order in best case scenario :)

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