Tips for Teens

Recycle Your Water Bottle

Beverage bottles are a valuable resource that can be recycled into new bottles or other plastic items. Recycling strengthens our economy, and many businesses need recycled material. We can considerably diminish our waste, keep our surroundings litter-free and protect our resources by recycling plastic bottles. Let’s build a Clean Water Future.


1,065,171 Beverage Bottles Found on Beaches

Plastic bottles and caps are among the the top 5 most frequently found items at coastal cleanups (Ocean Conservancy, 2015)

Water Bottle Sales Are Increasing

The volume of plastic bottled water sold in the US has grown tremendously in the last two decades. In 1996, 2.8 billion plastic bottles were sold; in 2004, 23.6 billion plastic water bottles were sold; in 2010, 42.6 billion plastic bottles of water were sold in the U.S.. (Container Recycling, 2013)

Plastics Never “Go Away”

Plastic does not mineralize; it just breaks down into very harmful pieces called microplastics that stay in the environment indefinitely (NOAA, 2011).

Degraded plastics recovered from Dauphin Island. Picture by Caitlin Wessel

Things You Can Do

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle

Carrying a reusable water bottle can save a lot of plastic over the entire year. Fill it up at the tap, with filtered water from water fountains, or get purified water from refilling stations at Publix and Walmart.

Nalgene Water Bottle from Amazon

Don’t Let the Bottle Swim

Put all plastic beverage bottles in the trash or recycle bin. Find out where your closest recycling center is, and commit to recycle every water bottle you use.

Collect Plastic Recycling at Home

Start collecting empty water bottles and other recycling at home to take to the curb or to the recycling center.

Home Recycle Bins from Amazon

“Pack it in, pack it out,”

Even if there’s not a recycling bin near you when you finish your drink, take the bottle home with you and recycle it there

Photo by Greg Shine photo is public domain.

Recycling at School

Ask your school to set up a recycling program and have PET bottle recycle bin in each classroom

Double Recycle Bin from Amazon

Reuse/Repurpose Used Plastic Bottles

If you have a collection of used plastic bottles, make good use of them! There are some cool ideas out there for using bottles. Ask your teacher to do an art project with plastic bottles. Consider putting on a recycling fashion show.

23 Creative Ways To Reuse Old Plastic Bottles YouTube

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