How to Reduce Plastic and Some Alternatives for Recycling While Local Services are Terminated

Lately, there has been a lot of talk on social media and in the local media about plastic recycling. Unfortunately, it seems that the company all of our local recycling programs use is discontinuing their plastics recycling services. Like you, our families are also struggling with finding ways to reduce plastic consumption as well as find alternative ways to recycle the plastic does find in our bins. Many of these are tips you’ve probably seen before, but its always good to have a reminder or nudge to try harder. If you’ve not already heard about the recycling woes, find an article about Waynesboro’s Recycling here. 

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Tips for Reducing Plastic Usage

Bring Your Own Bags and Don’t Forget to Use Them

This one is obvious. But if you’re anything like me, you constantly forget them. Here are some that I love. They are adorable and durable. I have a bad habit of forgetting my bags, so I’ve started leaving some in the car as well as hanging right near the car. I also have assigned my daughter to be the one who is responsible for putting the bags back in their spot after we return from the store. Also, these bags can be balled up and put in a purse or other small convenient area like a glove box, so they are always available.

Stop Buying Bottled Water

Another obvious one. But this one is SO DOABLE. I recently started using the local water service, Crystal Springs. We are loving it. Its fairly inexpensive. We love our bottom loading water cooler. It also has hot water, which is awesome. We love using it. I also bought several stainless water bottles that makes it super easy to carry water with me anywhere. These are the ones we love.


Stop using Straws

Straws are ruining our environment. We have tried hard to halt our usage but restaurants are straw pushers! Even when we ask them NOT to provide them, they still do it. And some even wrap straws with the silverware. Once its on the table, even if we don’t use it, I assume it just gets throw away. However, we can continue to ask our servers to NOT provide a straw when dining out. Perhaps if we all do it, it’ll catch on. Also, we can get some plastic straw alternatives. We love paper straws but also have some stainless straws as well. Here are some that we love.

The first has different sizes as well as a brush for cleaning;

We love these paper straws, they are compostable too!


Alternative Recycling Programs & Ideas

I have been frantically doing research on how we can continue to recycle the plastic we use even though our local facility no longer accepts it.

Preserve Gimme 5
#5 plastic, water filters
Yogurt cups, hummus containers, and other #5 plastics are not accepted in many community recycling programs or are downgraded into low-quality materials. Please send your #5 plastics via ground, not air shipping, and reuse a box if you can. Include your return address on the box and write your name and email address inside the box. There is a mail in program as well as drop off locations. Whole Foods is the closest local drop off location.

Use your Plastic and other Recyclables to Fuel your Kiddos Creative Juices

Check out this Pinterest Board with lots of craft ideas using recyclable materials.


Check out Terracycle and their list of free mail in and drop off recycle programs. Many of these are product specific, for example, Brita has a program to collect and recycle their filters and carafes.

Have other ideas? Send them our way and we’ll add them to this list!


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