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Small Room, Big Difference

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Mon Jan 13, 2014.

(Family Features) Food and beverage containers, glass, newspapers and other paper items are commonly recycled in households across the nation. But outside the kitchen, living room or office, where many of these items are found, there are other areas where you can find unexpected opportunities to recycle -like the bathroom.

While 7 out of 10 Americans say they always or almost always recycle, only 1 in 5 consistently recycles bathroom items, according to a report commissioned by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

"Because many of our personal care products are used or stored in the bathroom, we wanted to understand if Americans are recycling there," said Paulette Frank, Vice President of Sustainability for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

The study further revealed that 40 percent of Americans don't recycle any bathroom items at all. Among the reasons cited, 22 percent reported they had never thought about recycling in the bathroom and 20 percent didn't even know that products in the bathroom are recyclable.

"We saw an opportunity to help reduce waste going to landfills by educating people about the recyclable items they use in the bathroom," Frank said. "We created the Care to Recycle® campaign to be a gentle reminder to recycle empty containers from the bathroom rather than throwing them in the trash."

Here is some helpful information about which common bathroom items can be recycled:

  • Plastic bottles marked #1 (PET) or #2 (HDPE) containing products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, baby powder, face cleanser and body oil are recyclable in most communities.
  • Plastics marked #4 (LDPE) and #5 (PP) are recyclable but may not be accepted for recycling via curbside programs. Check with your municipality and the Care to Recycle® locator developed in partnership with Earth911.
  • Paperboard items such as toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes and cartons for things like medicine, lotions, soap, bandages, etc. can all be recycled in most communities.

More tips and tools for recycling items from the bathroom, including Johnson & Johnson's "Smallest Room" video, are available at www.caretorecycle.com. Every time you share the "Smallest Room" video, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to Keep America Beautiful, up to a total of $10,000, to provide recycling bins to schools across the U.S.

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