Is Number 5 Plastic Recyclable?
Yes, plastic #5 IS recyclable! In the past it was difficult to find recycling centers that would accept plastic number 5, but in recent years recycling of this plastic has become much more accessable. Find out if your local curbside utility accepts it or where you can drop it off at earth911.org/recycling. You can also check out Preserve's "Gimme 5" program which collects and recycles yogurt containers at listed locations and by mail.
Number 5 plastic (also known as polypropylene or PP) is most often used for yogurt containers, cottage cheese tubs, hummus tubs, and other food containers. Most water and soda bottle caps are also made from #5 plastic. It is durable, lightweight, and adjusts well to higher and lower heats, making it ideal for food storage. Recycled number 5 plastic can be found in garbage/recycling bins, many car accessories (windshield brushes, battery casing, battery cables, ice scrapers, oil funnels, bicycle racks), garden rakes, shipping pallets, and other high-density mixed plastics.
There are also many ways to reuse or "upcycle" your number 5 containers around the house and in craft projects:
- Drinking cups. (without a lid or cut an "X" in the top and insert a straw)
- Storage containers for small items such as screws, paper clips, etc.
- For paint cups (and water for water colors)
- Seed starting containers.
- Measuring cups. (an 8 ounce yogurt cup = 1 cup; 6 ounce yogurt cup = 3/4 cup)
- Molds for ice pops. (Just pour in some juice and popsicle stick!)
- A great stacking toy for babies and toddlers.
- Use as a circle stencil or cookie cutter.
- Sandbox toy.
- Use as a scoop for things like dog food or a big bag of flour.
Check out these great craft ideas at Artists Helping Children, including many themed projects for different times of year.