Plastic & Materials Recycling

Join SJC’s Eco-Ambassador Program

SJC is launching a Community Education Initiative to help alleviate the confusion about how best to recycle different materials and to mobilize citizens to take action and change our habits around plastic !

Why are plastics harmful?

Plastics are harmful to our health, our environment and they’re changing our ecosystems.

Most of us come into contact with some form of plastic everyday - plastic particles seep into the food we eat, the water we drink, the oceans we swim in, and we can even find microplastics in the air we breathe. We urgently need to work with our government to form a comprehensive plastic action plan. Plastic production has to be reduced, just as alternatives should be encouraged.


According to the Yale School of Environmental Studies:


There is also now abundant research that links BPA and phthalate exposure to such human health concerns as deformities of the male and female genitals; premature puberty in females; decreased sperm quality; and increases in breast and prostate cancers, infertility, miscarriages, obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies and neurological problems, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Source: The Problem with Plastics – Yale


do you know about microplastics?

Microplastics  are a growing environmental concern  - they are small, barely visible pieces of plastic that enter and pollute our environment. They are defined as plastic particles less than 0.2 inches (5 mm) in diameter.

According to a recent study, microplastics were found in over 94 percent of U.S. water samples. To combat the growing issue of microplastics, the U.S. passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act in 2015, banning plastic microbeads from cosmetics, personal care products, and non-prescription (also called
“over-the-counter" or "OTC") drugs, such as toothpastes.


How can we fight plastic pollution?

A Good Place To Start Is To Say NO To Single Use Plastic Materials

Jersey City’s
Single-use Plastic Bag Ban

Starting JUNE 28th, 2019
Jersey City will enforce a city-wide ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags.
This means customers will need to bring their own reusable bag or use alternative bag provided by retailers (for a cost or for free). The ordinance also bans non-recycled paper bags and biodegradable plastic bags that are not at least 2.25 millimeters thick. However, bags used for produce, frozen food and meats and pharmacy bags for prescriptions are exempt. Read more about Ordinance 18-065 here.

Fo more info about bag ban, click here.


Check out these videos:

Chances are, you've bought a plastic container at some point in your life-and since it had those three little arrows on the bottom, you figured you could recycle it. But those symbols mean a lot more than you think. They tell you what kind of plastic a product is made from, and even how recyclable it is.

Watch and learn more about Jersey City’s Plastic Bag Ban

Materials Waste Recycling

It all starts with STUFF ! We all seem to accumulate more stuff than we know what to do with and then we are stuck with it. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about your treasured stuff. While we are all encouraged by the marketplace to buy, buy, buy and consumption behavior is driving a lot of the problem with waste streams in our society and across the developed world, a new eco-consciousness is emerging. See the 4R’s Pledge below and join the REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE Club !

Have you heard the saying that ‘There really is NO “AWAY”, like when we say we want to throw something away ? Well the truth is all that really means is that our trash simply goes somewhere else. Did you know that in the US, about 1/3 of our garbage is caused by packaging, another 1/3 - 1/2 food waste. Imagine if everyone could reduce their waste footprint by more than half and what a great impact that would be !

SJC recommends everyone interact with this fabulous interactive online exhibition - ROTTEN TRUTH ABOUT GARBAGE. We ask that you start to think about how to consume less (Source Reduction) and how to shop more conscioucly for greener products / packaging (Recyclable?) and overall generate less garbage (Landfill Diversion). We all must evolve on this spectrum. Try to DO BETTER and if we all begin to row in this direction, we can reverse bad trends and start good future trends . Manufacturers and Packaging Companies respond to consumer demand so its up to us to create demand for THE RIGHT STUFF.

START BY GETTING EDUCATED ! Then take steps to change your own behavior and support others to do the same. Friends, Family, Neighbors, Community, the Town or City You Live In, NJ State, our Country ~


Make more informed decisions when shopping and know ahead of time what you can recycle by learning about plastic codes.

If you turn over a plastic container, you’ll see a recycling symbol followed by a recycling number. Contrary to popular belief, the number does not indicate material hardness.

The numbers found on the bottom of plastic products are resin identification codes that were established by the Society Of Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988 to help consumers identify the plastic type of various containers and products.

Be part of the solution and know what you are buying when you shop so you don’t end up ‘owning’ materials that are not accepted at curbside recycling.

The trend is municipal solid waste being carted to landfills is UP and recycling rates are DOWN. These trends can be reversed if we smarten up as consumers !


For additional information, check out these websites: