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Bathroom Recycling: 5 Easy Ways To Get Started
Bathroom Recycling: 5 Easy Ways To Get Started

Editor’s Note: This post is a followup to our October 2013 post about the launch of our Care To Recycle® program. It includes new research about how Americans recycle in their households.

Does your family recycle? We’ll bet your family has gotten pretty good about putting items like soda cans, paper towel rolls and other items in the proper kitchen recycling bins.

But chances are good that your family recycling efforts stop right there. In fact, a recent study showed that while nearly ¾ of Americans say they consistently recycle, only about half recycle outside the kitchen.*

Why? Well, the #1 roadblock to recycling throughout the house is a lack of recycling bins. Only 22% of Americans have a bin in their laundry room – and a paltry 14% have one in their bathrooms. In fact, 40% of those surveyed say they don’t recycle bathroom items at all.

While the bathroom is often the smallest room in the house, it can have a huge impact in helping our planet. If we don’t recycle, 552 million 15-ounce shampoo bottles could end up in landfills each year unnecessarily – an estimated 18,000 tons of plastic.

Let’s face it – most of us simply aren’t in the habit of thinking about recycling when we’re taking a shower or brushing our teeth. But here’s the good news: 62% of children are very motivated to recycle in their homes. My kids definitely got the recycling memo and love to “educate” mom and dad on proper recycling behavior. So if your kids are anything like mine, they can help lead the charge on smarter, better recycling around your house too. If you can get your kids excited about recycling, you can be sure that they’ll keep the rest of the family motivated, too.

Here are some fun and easy ways to get your family started on bathroom recycling.

  1. Get a bin. Our mantra? Have bin, will recycle. Make sure it’s small enough to fit in your bathroom or inside the cabinet under your sink. Let your child help pick out the bin, and perhaps allow them to decorate it with stickers or their own designs. Not sure what type of recycling container is best for your house? Take our quiz on Recyclebank.
  1. Put your child in charge. Kids love to be the boss! Give your child an official title, such as CEO of The Bathroom or Sheriff of Recycling. Ask them to monitor the family to be sure recyclable items are put in the proper bins.
  1. Learn together. Expect your kids to ask questions and want more information as you go. There are plenty of great tools and resources to help you at Care To Recycle®.
  1. Keep recycling top of mind. We are offering free Care to Recycle® mirror clings on Recyclebank. You can put them on your bathroom mirrors as gentle reminders to recycle those shampoo bottles and toilet paper rolls when they are empty.
  1. Incent and reward. Treat your bathroom recycling bin like a change jar – when it’s filled up, the family gets treated to a fun activity like a movie night or going out for ice cream. You can also sign up at Recyclebank to earn points for recycling that are redeemable for rewards.

We’d love to hear from you. How do you get your whole family involved in bathroom recycling? Share your ideas on our #CaretoRecycle gallery on Recyclebank!

*2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey (in partnership with Johnson & Johnson)

Paulette Frank currently serves in the role of Vice President, Sustainability for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies. In her role, she provides thought leadership and strategic direction to advance the organization’s sustainability mission. - See more at:

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