Earlier this summer when I was looking into my new sponsor, Mix1, I also spent the time figuring out what I would then do with all of the empty bottles. The bottles, cloudy white in color, are your typical #5 plastic, or polypropylene. Unfortunately, in my area, we don't recycle this type of plastic. Until I found Cortland, NY's Preserve Products company and their Gimme 5 program. They collect #5 plastic and recycle it into new and nifty products like razors, toothbrushes and kitchen utensils.
#5 plastic is a common material - think yogurt cups and cottage cheese containers - and it is often chosen over #1 or 2 because it is light-weight and costs less to manufacture and transport. However, it is not easier to recycle, especially in a rural area like the Adirondacks. The Gimme 5 Program offers a way for consumers to recycle their #5's either by dropping them off at a participating Whole Foods or mailing them into the company - like I plan to do.
My efforts to revamp the Olympic Training Center's (OTC) approach to recycling paralleled my sponsorship work this summer and through Mix1 I was able to combine my efforts. I've teamed up with our Sports Med to provide a place for our athletes to recycle their recovery drink bottles, instead of letting them fill up our trash. It is in its beginning stages, but I am optimistic that it will be successful.
We all use a variety of sports drinks, recovery drinks, and bar products; double check which number the are. #1, 2 and 5 plastics spend an estimated 450 years in the landfill. In a much shorter time, I will turn my tangerine flavored Mix 1 drink bottles into a new usable product.
Take a minute to think about how you recycle and consider this new option. It may take some time to change our habits, but know you have the choice to take more responsibility for where your "stuff" goes.
*This company even takes Brita filters!