America Recycles Day 2020: #BeRecycled

For over 20 years millions of people have been celebrating America Recycles Day on November 15. Organized by Keep America Beautiful, the day raises awareness of recycling as well the importance of purchasing recycled products.

Even though the recycling rate in the United States is at an all-time high at 34 percent, there is still major room for improvement. The U.S. has been relying on other countries to recycle its plastic waste until recently, and we have only been recycling 10 percent of our own plastic waste. Most plastic products can be recycled, however, around 19 percent of the materials that end up in landfills consist of plastic.

It is important that you start recycling, if you have not already. You can start small by formulating a system at home to recycle plastic bags and bottles. Every small action can result in a big change for mother Earth.

Know What to Recycle

The theme for America Recycles Day 2020 is #BeRecycled, which involves improving an individual's recycling behavior. This starts with knowing what to recycle and how to recycle specific materials properly.

According to Keep America Beautiful, the average American generates 250 million tons of trash and recyclables each year. It is imperative that you dispose of every item in your house properly to avoid negatively affecting the environment.

From toilet paper rolls to food boxes, a majority of household items can be recycled. Do not forget to recycle any newspapers or old mail items you have lying around your home. Over 87 percent of Americans have access to curbside or drop-off recycling programs. Keep America Beautiful offers an easy to navigate recycling program locator so that everyone can recycle in the comfort of their community.

Below is an infographic from Keep America Beautiful that details which items in your home you can recycle.

Recycle Old and Used Clothing

When it comes to getting rid of textiles, it is vital that you recycle your used items by donating them instead of throwing them in the trash. In the U.S., people throw away 85 percent of clothes in their closet that they do not want. Once those clothing items end up in a landfill, they will sit there and release harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

To help divert clothing from landfills, donate your clothing in one of Planet Aid's large yellow bins. We have yellow bins in 18 states and in Washington D.C., which helped to divert over 90 million pounds of textiles from landfills in 2018.

There are many ways you can promote and celebrate America Recycles Day, and any of them are great! Over 80,000 people have already made the #BeRecycled pledge for America Recycles Day, and you can join them.