There are some things that we do as adults that were instilled in us as children, like covering our mouths when we cough and saying thank you. So many things are learned when kids are growing up, so it’s an excellent time to teach them about recycling, what it is, and why it’s important.
For kids, the concept of recycling starts with the very basics, not necessarily which bin to put a water bottle in and whether styrofoam is recyclable or not. It starts with understanding how to use less in the first place, what the recycling journey is for plastics and other recyclable items, and what happens to items when they aren’t recycled. As kids grow older they will learn the more specific processes of recycling and the importance of separating certain items into their respective bins, but when they’re young and just beginning to grasp the concept, it’s best to start small and to plant the initial seed.
At KW Plastics, we have been in the plastic recycling industry for decades and we know how important it is to recycle and reuse items. We are passionate about educating people on how important it is while also developing new technology to make recycling more efficient.
What Does KW Plastics Do?
Our plastic recycling company purchases bales of plastic scrap, including HDPE (rigids, natural, and pigmented), PPE (tubs, lids, and battery chips), and recycle these materials into resins that can then be reused to create a variety of other products, such as beauty containers, housewares, automotive supplies, and plastic sheets. We have the ability to recycle and reuse plastic items and KW Plastics is at the forefront of this technology.
Teaching Kids About Recycling
Having a recycling bin at home is a great start and you can show your kids which types of trash can be put in the bin. But if they don’t have a bigger understanding of recycling, they won’t fully understand the purpose. Talk to your kids about the different kinds of materials and items that can be recycled, such as plastic water bottles, shampoo bottles, aluminum cans, milk jugs, and even their own clothing. Talk to them about what happens to these items when they are simply put in the trash and not taken to a recycling company.
Take a Trip to a Recycling Center
For kids, visual examples are a great way to help them learn and understand. By taking them to a recycling company, they may be able to see first hand what a landfill looks like and the various items that end up there. When they see plastic bottles in the pile, you can talk to them about the lifespan of that item. A plastic bottle can take at least 450 years to decompose, and sometimes much longer. Depending on how old your kids are, time can be a difficult concept to grasp, so you can simply say that the water bottle will be in the landfill for a very, very long time.
Explain What Recycling Is
Recycling is a fascinating process and one that kids can get excited about when it’s explained in the right way. To make it fun, explain recycling in terms of a big machine. The machine likes to eat plastic and the machine has a big stomach that melts all of the plastic down into small bits and pieces. These bits and pieces can then be used to make other items. Big machines that transform a plastic bottle into a paint can is really impressive for kids.
Tips on Helping Kids Recycle
Now that your kids understand the basics of what recycling is and why it’s important, you can help them make recycling a habit!
Pick Up Trash
The next time you go on a walk in the park or even in your own neighborhood, make it a game of who can pick up the most trash. Look for cans, bottles, plastic bags, candy wrappers, and anything else that could be recycled. When you get home, they can practice putting each item in the right bin.
Play a Recycling Guessing Game
Lay out a few items that can be recycled and have your child put the items in the order from which the items will decompose first to last. The items can include a plastic grocery store bag, a water bottle, an aluminum can, and a paper bag.
Make Something New
A great part about learning how to recycle is reusing items that you don’t want or need anymore and turning them into something new. Here are a few fun things you can try with your kids:
- Superhero cuffs with toilet paper or paper towel rolls.
- Wind chime with jar lids.
- A bird feeder with a plastic soda bottle.
- Paint aluminum cans to use as flower pots or supply holders.
- Create artwork with old magazines.
- Create a terrarium with soda bottles or milk jugs.
- Make a hanging garden with a soda bottle.
Take a Tour of Your House
Even though recycling focuses a lot of items that come out of the kitchen, there are dozens of items that can be recycled throughout your home. Look for batteries, clothes that have been outgrown, old toys, shoes, newspapers, cardboard, crayons, pens, toothbrushes, and electronics. It may take time for your kids to learn how to identify which items can be recycled, but that’s what learning is all about!
A Bigger Recycling Picture With KW Plastics
Even though most homes can utilize local recycling plants, it’s important for kids to understand the bigger picture when it comes to recycling and reusing plastic items.
At KW Plastics, we strive to keep our world clean and safe for future generations. The team at KW Plastics is made up of incredibly talented and knowledgeable staff and it is our mission to help everyone recycle and to turn the materials into something new and beneficial. The resin that we create with recycled scrap material can be used for a variety of products, including packaging, pipes, paint and coatings, agriculture supplies, and more. If you’re looking for a long-term recycling or resin partner, get in touch with our team today.