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Are Plastic Bottle Caps Recyclable?

Plastic bottle caps recyclable

Yes, plastic bottle caps ARE recyclable and a growing number of curbside municipal recycling programs are accepting them in their weekly pick-ups. Traditionally city recycling programs and other recycling centers have asked consumers to remove the lids before recycling their soda and water bottles.  Recently, recycling technology has made it easier to recycle caps. Find out if you can throw plastic bottle caps in your recycling bin or find a local drop-off center at

Why the difficulty in recycling water and soda bottle caps? Most plastic bottles are made from plastic number #1 while bottle caps are made from plastic #5. Separating the bottle from the cap must be done manually (not by a machine) which makes it cumbersome and time consuming.  These two plastics melt at different temperatures, so recycling them together is not an option.  Also, bottle caps were shooting off at high speeds when plastic bottles were being compressed, causing injuries and damaging machinery.

Most plastics are recyclable, it is just a matter of finding out where and how you can recycle them.

Looking for ways to upcycle your soda/water bottle caps? Here are a few crafty ideas:

  1. Make a fashionable necklace.
  2. Or a sweet bottle cap doll.
  3. An animal Safari (this one uses the bottles and the caps).
  4. Learn to make cute magnets or pins (these instructions use metal bottle caps, but can jsut as easily use plastic ones).
  5. Check out the video below for how to make a cool snake, coasters, and a tic-tac-toe game!