We all know that putting a plastic bottle in the recycling bin instead of the trash helps the environment out in some small way.
And, on a larger scale, all the folks recycling all of their bottles ends up helping much more.
But to the average person, quantifying their particular impact can be a little opaque.
Old enough folks remember actually being able to drop off their newspapers and getting paid maybe a penny or two a pound back in the day. And even today, citizen recyclers know that recycling aluminum cans can be relatively lucrative.
But what about plastic bottles?
Chantal H. Fryer is director of recycling market development at the South Carolina Department of Commerce and recently spoke at the opening of equipment maker American Starlinger-Sahm Inc.'s new building in Fountain Inn, S.C. She offered a little insight.
“Recycling is not anything to sneeze at and all of you in this industry know how many jobs it creates,” she said. The entire recycling business in South Carolina accounts for 54,000 jobs.
And the Carolinas Plastics Recycling Council, which includes both North Carolina and South Carolina, estimates there would be a big impact if every household in the two states just did a little more to recycle their plastics.
“What we've determined is that if every household in the Carolinas recycled two more bottles a week, two more of those plastic bottles, that it would create 300 jobs,” Fryer told folks at the opening.
So there you have it: two bottles per household per week would mean hundreds of jobs in the Carolinas.
That's a pretty powerful message, and one that everybody can understand.