How to Really Make Money Recycling Plastic (Bottles, Caps, Etc)

Plastic BottleWe talk about recycling as a source of extra income a lot around here, from glass bottles and jars recycling, to newspaper and cardboard, computer, and even recycling car batteries.

But have you ever thought of recycling plastic (bottles and caps)?

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Take this test to see if you can aspire to be a successful recycler and make money with it.

Are You a Person Who Cares about the Environment?

If you are, you’ve thought countless times about how long plastic takes to degrade into the landfills (up to a 1000 year) and you’re very concerned about this.

Do You Have Any Experience Recycling?

If you do, you may have had a previous experience recycling aluminum cans for cash which led you to consider plastic bottles, bags, and containers as potential money makers.

You know that recycled plastic is used to manufacture new products, such as bowls, bags and a great variety of plastic containers.

Do You Know Where Plastic Comes From?

If you do, you positively know that plastic comes from oil and natural gas, the same oil that is used to make gasoline.

And even though gasoline is not exactly what a good environment needs, you still want to help lower its price by recycling plastic and take off some of the demand on oil.

Can You Define How Many Sorts of Recyclable Plastic There Are?

If you can, you know there are many sorts of plastic, over 50.

And you know some of the types worth being recycled that you can find in your home, such as:

  • HDPE: Found in the plastic in opaque bottles.
  • PVC: Found in clear bottles with a seam on the base.
  • PET or PETE: Found in clear bottles with a hard plastic center on its base.
  • LDPE: Found in cling wrap and grocery bags as well as in squeeze bottles.
  • PP: Found in medicine bottles, Tupperware and plastic bottle caps.
  • PS: Found in Styrofoam coffee cups and take out containers.

And if you ever forget what kind of plastic you should and should not recycle, you check out this handy list for a quick refresher.

Do You Know How to Collect Plastic?

If you do, you primarily collect plastic in your home and you spread the word, so that you can help your family, friends, neighbors and anyone near you to get rid of their potentially recyclable plastic.

Once you have all the plastic in one place, you know that you need to sort it out and separate the items which have a deposit value (that is, those you can return to the store once empty) from those without.

You collect the later in different bags according to their category, looking at the identification numbers at the bottom of the containers (for instance, #1 PET for soda bottles or #5 PP” for storage boxes.)

Have You Ever Thought of Selling the Plastic You Collect?

If you have, you never miss to return to the store the bottles with a deposit value, and you know where the local recycling center that pays for your plastic without a deposit value is.

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You had no problem finding that center online, because you used one of the following methods:

  • Searched the local Yellow Pages
  • Searched on
  • Searched on Earth 911
  • Searched on Google for “recycling centers near my zipcode”


Do You Know How Much Money You Can Make Recycling Plastic?

If you do, you’ll underline that as an environmental militant you care more about the planet and you don’t expect to make fortunes.

Still, as you like to be rewarded for your care and effort, you know that you’ll get plenty of continuous pocket money during the year.

In some states like Michigan, a plastic bottle is worth 10 cents; in other its value is no less than 4-5 cents.

Do You Know What Terracycle Is?

If you do, you know that TerraCycle is the place that accepts food wrappers, plastic food containers, plastic tape dispensers and much more, and also pays for the shipping.

You have an account at TerraCycle, where you print your shipping labels and where you choose the type of plastic you want to recycle.

You’re regularly credited with points that you donate to the charity of your choice while you help TerraCycle to achieve its program of zero waste in the world.

Have You Heard about Recyclebank?

If you have, you already signed for your account at where you regularly perform online activities about recycling and living green.

You like that each time you learn something new, you’re credited with points and that those points are redeemable for gift cards and other prizes.

This means that more money comes your way just because you cared about recycling.


If your answer to all of the above questions is YES, you probably are already a successful plastic recycler.

If the answer to all or some of the above questions is NO, you can realize that after going through this test you have learned all you need to become one!

Help the planet and help yourself!

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