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This new strategy will make it easier for you to recycle than ever: 'We have them all in a database'

"Just because a product says it's recyclable, doesn't necessarily mean it's recyclable where you live."

“Just because a product says it’s recyclable, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s recyclable where you live.”

Photo Credit: iStock

Knowing what to put in your recycling bin can be difficult, especially because guidelines differ from town to town. Narrowing it down by type of material can be challenging, too; for example, there are many different kinds of plastic, and each needs to be recycled differently. 

Recycle Check, a program by the Recycling Partnership, aims to simplify things.

What is Recycle Check?

Recycle Check is partnering with brands like General Mills and Horizon Organics to provide consumers with detailed, local recycling information for their packaging, Axios reports. 

Products from partner brands will soon have QR codes that consumers can scan to learn how to recycle the food's packaging.

Why is Recycle Check important?

Recycle Check has also partnered with SmartLabel and How2Recycle to provide recycling information on thousands of products. Detailed information about local recycling programs will be available at users' fingertips, making it easier than ever to recycle.

According to the EPA, the national recycling rate is 32% for municipal waste. For plastics, one of the top contributors to pollution, the recycling rate in the United States is close to 6%, according to a report cited by the Surfrider Foundation. 

Contributing to these low figures is the widespread confusion about what can be recycled — 60% of consumers say they're confused about what and how they should be recycling, according to the Recycling Partnership. 

Because recycling facilities differ from town to town, what's recyclable in one city might not be recyclable a few towns over.

"Just because a product says it's recyclable, doesn't necessarily mean it's recyclable where you live," Rishi Banerjee, director of the Consumer Brands Association's SmartLabel program, told Axios.

Recycle Check will reportedly take the guesswork out of recycling. Sarah Dearman, chief innovation officer for the Recycling Partnership, told Axios. "There's about 9,000 different recycling districts across the U.S., and we have them all in a database."

By providing easily accessible information about local recycling programs, consumers will no longer have to puzzle over what to recycle and what to throw out. 

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