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Why Is Recycling Important for Kids?

Why Is Recycling Important for Kids?


Preserving our planet is the kind of task that takes a combined effort from every generation! For many parents, getting their kids started early on green habits like recycling is a key part of that effort. 

Why is recycling important for kids, and what can parents do to teach their children good recycling habits? Here are five reasons why parents are prioritizing recycling when teaching their kids about sustainability — plus tips on how to make recycling more fun and exciting for children! 

1. Recycling teaches kids a lifelong sustainable habit.

Children develop habits at a young age, so it’s important to make sure recycling is one of them. Every time a child washes out a jar for recycling or takes the bin out to the curb, they’re building a habit that will protect our planet. Thus, when we teach our kids to recycle, we’re making a crucial investment in the future by raising a new generation of lifelong recyclers! 

TIP: Set a good example for your kids by recycling. When children see their adult role models recycling, it helps teach them that it’s important. Explain what you’re doing and why, and double-check your recycling “yes and no” list to ensure that you’re teaching them correctly!

2. Recycling helps kids start thinking about the environment. 

Teaching kids about recycling also provides an excellent opportunity to start talking about waste, sustainability and the environment. Explain how trash in the garbage can goes to a landfill, how long it takes to decompose and why recycling is a better choice. From there, you can also steer the conversation to any other topics in sustainability you want to introduce to kids. 

TIP: Encourage your kids’ interest in nature with books, documentaries or other media. Connect what they see and read with daily tasks around the house. Examples might include how washing reusable containers for food and drinks helps keep single-use plastics out of the ocean, or how recycled eco-friendly trash bags use the material from old bags to make new ones!

3. Recycling gives kids a way to get involved.

Kids love to be helpful and make a difference, and recycling is a great way for anyone to do their part in tackling the waste problem. It lets kids understand in tangible terms how much waste they create and how much they save by recycling. This can be especially good for kids who struggle with anxiety about the environment.

TIP: Connecting your environmental efforts with others can create opportunities for your kids to deepen community connections. Ask your kids if they’d like to take part in a park cleanup, or bring them to meetings of local kid-friendly environmental clubs. Some might even like writing letters to their elected officials on environmental issues!Purchase Compostable Trash Bags Heresmiling girl recycling using plastic bottles

Source: Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

4. Kids can help your household keep up with recycling tasks.

Staying on top of household recycling can be a challenge, especially in big families. That’s why it’s great to have some extra pairs of hands helping with the recycling! Kids can help in a lot of different ways, including:
  • Gathering and cleaning recyclables from around the house
  • Sorting recycling (for those with multi-stream recycling)
  • Taking recycling to the curb
  • Cleaning out recycling bins and changing recycling bags

Having kids help with household recycling also helps teach responsibility, much as any chore does

TIP: Try introducing some ways to make recycling fun. Use colored trash bags to bag different types of recyclables and take guesses on which one will fill up first. Just remember to dump the recyclables out of the bags before disposal! Or, look up some fun recycling crafts and give kids the tools to let their imaginations go wild.

5. Recycling is a great introduction to other zero waste strategies.

Recycling is just one piece of a bigger strategy to reduce single-use materials waste. Reducing what we use and reusing what we can are just as important as recycling if not more so! However, recycling offers the perfect starting point since it’s relatively easy and common in households across the U.S. 

TIP: Once you’ve established a recycling routine, talk as a family about other steps you could take, such as reducing the amount of single-use plastic in your home or starting a household compost container. If you have a composting center nearby, make sure to stock up on some of Plasticplace’s certified compostable trash bags for easy storage and pickup! young girl recycling cans


Ultimately, recycling is for everybody! That’s why Plasticplace makes it easy and affordable to get the right trash and recycling bags for your home and business. See our full selection of eco-friendly trash bags to shop our greenest options — available with fast, free shipping to the lower 48 states! Shop All Eco-Friendly Trashbags
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