Recycling plastic is about to get easier

Recycling plastic is about to get easier
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 7:02 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Let’s face it, recycling plastics is a pain. But it’s about to get a lot easier, thanks to technology many of us use every day. You’re about to get an assist from new labels and your phone.

Soon, new QR codes will tell you what you can recycle and how, with one click. The ‘Recycle Check” program is putting QR codes on millions of products.

”You can see that it says recycle check and has a QR code, so with pretty much any phone, if you point your camera to it and it will take you to our recycle check website and enter your zip code - all the information is private - it will tell you if this specific package is recyclable,” said Sarah Dearman, Chief Information Officer with Recycling Partnership.

The majority of Americans say they believe in recycling, but most recyclables still end up in a landfill. Overall, the recycling rate is about 32%, but for plastics, it’s under 6%! That’s mostly due to confusion about how and what to recycle, especially when it comes to plastics.

Just because an item has that little recyclable symbol, doesn’t mean it’s recyclable where you live. Here in Tucson, for instance, only bottles, jugs, and containers are accepted.

Nine-thousand recycling programs, including Tucson’s, are in the a database, and any changes in what’s accepted will be reflected in real time. General Mills has them on the shelf now. You’ll also get quick info on how to recycle the item. Here in Tucson, for instance, you should leave the lids on and rinse out any plastics.

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