What to do with caps and lids is the #1 recycling question we’re asked. The answer is…..it depends. Here’s the low-down:
Plastic container + plastic screw-top cap: ATTACH AND RECYCLE
Attach plastic screw-top caps to plastic bottles, jugs, and jars (think soft drink and prescription bottles, laundry detergent jugs, and peanut butter jars).
Plastic cap by itself: TRASH
Plastic objects need to be at least 2” to be captured by sorting equipment. Generally speaking, plastic caps by themselves do not meet this requirement and must go in the trash.
Metal Caps and Lids: RECYCLE SEPARATE FROM CONTAINER (unless the container is also metal)
Metal caps and lids are most commonly attached to glass bottles and jars; separate from each other and place both in your recycling cart.
Carton Caps: ATTACH AND RECYCLE
The recycling ‘rule’ about only attaching like-materials to each other does not apply to refrigerated cartons (e.g.: juice, milk) or shelf-stable cartons (e.g.: broth, plant milk). This is because the Carton Council has invested in developing recycling partnerships, technologies, and markets that allow recycling centers to accept cartons in single-stream curbside programs. One of the original extended producer responsibility success stories!