7 Surprising Ways to Recycle Plastic

Recycling plastic keeps trash out of landfills and decreases our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.

By Kayla Caldwell

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Avoid throwing out your used sports equipment and keep your old items play.6. Keep Sporting Goods in Play 

Don’t throw out those old cleats, baseballs, and yoga mats. They all contain plastic components that can be recycled or reused by other athletes. You might be surprised to find that there is probably a recycling program to fit every athlete’s needs. If you need to get rid of old swim caps, send them to Ecoathlete so they can be made into flip-flops. The Sterling Rope Company turns old climbing rope into dog collars and key chains, and Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program grinds up old athletic shoes, collected through the mail or at Nike stores, and turns them into new sneakers or athletic surfaces such as running tracks. Yoga mats, regardless of what they’re made from, can be sent to Recycle Your Mat, where you can get a discount on a new one. If old mats aren’t turned into new mats, they’re donated to various nonprofits, including one that uses yoga to help children overcome early life trauma. And, of course, there are always reliable standbys where you can find new homes for old sporting gear, such as Play It Again Sports or Freecyle.

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