Plastic Lids Put in Garbage Cart/Bin Plastic bottle caps can be recycled if they’re screwed onto plastic bottles. In contrast, if a cap is loose, or it came on a paper carton or tetra pak (oat milk cartons, soup cartons and coconut water containers that have a liner), it should go in the garbage, not the recycling. Very small items go in the garbage. The sorters and equipment at the materials recovery facility (MRF) are calibrated to separate larger items to be recycled. Very small items like loose plastic caps fall through the machinery and end up in the landfill. Plastic lids from larger containers can be recycled. Larger lids, like those on hummus or yogurt containers, are big enough to be sorted individually at the MRF, so they don’t need to be attached to the container. Scrape off any remaining food residue into the garbage and place these in the recycling. Plastic coffee cup lids are NOT recyclable. The cardboard sleeve from the coffee cup can be removed and placed in the recycling. The plastic lid and the coffee cup go in the garbage. Ways to Reduce Bring Your Own Cup Carry a travel mug or water bottle instead of using disposable coffee cups or plastic cups. Ways to Reuse Repurpose Plastic Lids Plastic lids can be repurposed as soap trays, party coasters and more. Check out this list for inspiration.