Recycling #5 Plastic (Polypropylene) at Sarah Lawrence College

Recycling ➔ ♷

One day in the staff lounge in the Sarah Lawrence College Library I noticed something, three people eating yogurt. As I walked back to my office my brain began thinking about the scale of three people eating yogurt every day or even a few times a week. “WAIT-A-MINUTE! Yogurt cups are #5’s. I could recycle the cups along with the plastic bags and yogurt cups I bring to Whole Foods every week. I wonder if they’d be interested?”

This question delayed me from putting anything into motion until one day I saw the same group of staff members eating lunch and I decided to explain my weekly practice of recycling and asked if they’d be interested in participating by leaving their #5 plastics in a bag or container of some sort. They thought it was a great idea and said the bag would be a helpful reminder to not throw away the yogurt cups.

I decided a bag would not be the best thing to use and the perfect solution fell into my lap… A large round tin can. I printed a #5 recycling logo, taped it to the can, and put it in the staff lounge.

Tin + Print out = Eco win


I did not note the day I put the can in the lunch space unfortunately but recall it being sometime in late April/early May. The other day I brought the tin to my desk and took photos wondering how many cups would there be after two and a half months?

The count? A total of 38 yogurt cups a 1 cap. If this continues the amount of items recycled will be near 190. Fantastic! Check out the picture of the cups.

39 pieces of #5 plastic in 2.5 months

Can this be done across all of campus? Would students and faculty participate? The staff were incredibly kind by rinsing out their cups before putting them into the tin can. Would everyone?

I don’t know but I can say the beta test worked out amazingly and I will bring the cups to be recycled again when the tin can is full.

I tip my hat to the library staff for their efforts and participation. The children and animals of the world are happier because of you. =D

What type of initiatives have you tried – at home, at work, in your community?

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