Let's create a brighter future, together.


By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. This statistic is a wake-up call for us humans. It’s time for each of us to change our individual habits and behaviors so future generations can live in a clean, beautiful world. A world filled with wonder, excitement and fish in the sea. 

Make your Mark

Take action today and commit to reducing your waste and leaving this planet better than we found it. We will you keep you updated on events, resources and way to get involved.

Our Solution

Brightmark is making our mark with our revolutionary plastics renewal solution — a truly circular approach that turns commingled plastics back into wax and oil that can be reused as anything from transportation fuel to new plastic.

We are striving to create a world without waste, and know that through our efforts, we will contribute to making a difference. We know we’re not alone in this effort. It takes all of us to make a difference and fight the world’s waste problem.

Resources

The Different Types of Plastic

Did you know that just because plastic items have a recycle symbol doesn’t guarantee they’re actually recyclable? The number within the ♻️ symbol identifies the type of plastic, which determines if it can be recycled. This can make recycling challenging. But we have good news! We are changing the way plastic recycling works. Our plastic renewal facility in Ashley, IN can recycle all plastic types.

Polyethylene Terephthalate
PET or PETE

Water bottles, soft drinks, mouthwash, salad dressing bottles, peanut butter containers, oil containers and some ropes. Plastic #1 is usually clear in color and it is not intended for multiple uses.

Recyclable?

Yes, commonly recycled.

High-Density Polyethylene
HDPE

Milk and juice jugs, detergent and household cleaners, cosmetics, bleach containers, toys, crates, buckets and playground equipment.
Plastic #2 is durable enough to be reused without any harm.

Recyclable?

Yes, commonly recycled.

Polyvinyl Chloride
PVC

Piping, some shampoo and cooking oil bottles, bubble wrap, house siding, shower curtains, credit cards. Plastic #3 contains chemical additives that can be harmful and should never be burned.

Recyclable?

No, not commonly recycled.

Low-Density Polyethylene
LDPE

Bread bags, frozen foods, plastic grocery bags bags, toothpaste, hot and cold beverage cups, sandwich bags. Plastic #4 while not commonly recycled, many retailers have now started accepting it.

Recyclable?

No, not commonly recycled.

Polypropylene
PP

Yogurt and cottage cheese containers, ketchup and syrup bottles, medicine bottles, straws, disposable diapers, potato chip bags. Plastic #5 is often used for food, if your community recycles this type of plastic make sure it is rinsed.

Recyclable?

No, not commonly recycled.

Polystyrene
PS

Styrofoam take-out containers, egg cartons, plastic utensils, foam packing peanuts, CD cases, seed trays and fast-food trays. Plastic #6 is easily breakable and the proper care should be taken when throwing it away.

Recyclable?

No, not commonly recycled.

Other
Miscellaneous Plastics

Sunglasses, eyeglasses, CDs and DVDs, computer cases, 5-gallon water jugs, bullet proof materials, sippy cups, dental sealants and nylon. Plastic #7 is made up of a wide variety of plastic resins that don’t fit into the previous categories.

Recyclable?

No, not commonly recycled.

Always double check the plastic number and make sure that your community recycles that type before putting it in the bin.

What are Microplastics?

According to @natgeo there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. They report that 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea.

One of the biggest contributors of microplastics in the ocean comes from synthetic textiles. The release of microplastics from synthetic clothing happens during the washing process. The washing machine causes stress on the fabric and it releases micoplastics. Choosing natural fibers like cotton, linen and hemp when you are buying new clothes can help to reduce the amount of microplastics with each wash.

The term microplastics refers to plastic particles that measure less than 5mm (0.2in). There are two basic kinds; primary microplastics and secondary microplastics.

Primary microplastics are plastic fragments or particles that are already 5mm in size or less before entering the environment.
Examples:

  • Microbeads in shower gel
  • Plastic fibers in synthetic textiles

Secondary microplastics form from the breakdown of larger plastic items. This typically happens when larger plastics undergo weathering, through exposure to wind, waves or other environmental factors.
Examples:

  • Shedding of turf
  • Tires on the road

Microplastics

How to Audit Your Waste

As long as our trash cans fill up, so do our landfills…and our oceans. But once it’s out of sight, is your garbage out of mind? Let’s find out — try spending a week really paying attention to your waste.

If you really want to cut waste, you need to know how much you’re throwing away in the first place.

How to get started:

  • Make a copy of this handy spreadsheet to use for yourself — it’s set up with four categories: landfill, recycling, organic waste, hazardous waste​.
    • Landfill: trash that you can’t recycle according to your local standards, and can’t go into the “Organic Waste” category
    • Recycling: only the recyclables that are accepted by your local facility
    • Organic Waste: check with your local facility’s yard/food waste standards for what applies here, but it’s generally garden/yard waste and plant-based food scraps
    • Hazardous Waste: car oil, batteries, anything that requires special collection by your waste collection facility
  • For one week list and tally each item as you throw it away.
  • At the end of the week, review your results. Ask yourself:
    • What are you mostly throwing out? 
    • Are there ways you could’ve reused or reduced your waste?

Trash Bin

The Brightmark Believers

Becoming a Brightmark Believer means you challenge the status quo. You are looking for a better tomorrow and are committed to finding new solutions to the world waste crisis.

Lizzi – Austin, TX

Savannah – San Francisco, CA

Chrystal – Petaluma, CA

Chrystal – Petaluma, CA

Savannah – San Francisco, CA

Lizzi – Austin, TX

Savannah – San Francisco, CA

Chrystal – Petaluma, CA

Chrystal – Petaluma, CA

Savannah – San Francisco, CA

Lizzi – Austin, TX

Savannah – San Francisco, CA

Chrystal – Petaluma, CA

Chrystal – Petaluma, CA

Savannah – San Francisco, CA

Take Action

Check back often to see how you can get involved with us and our partners!

Beach Clean Up -Mermaid Straw

Let’s clean up the beaches!

We are partnering with Mermaid Straw for monthly beach clean ups at Lake Michigan. All of the plastic collected from these cleanups are transported back to our Plastics Renewal Facility in Ashley, Indiana and turned into new products. Individuals & groups of all ages welcome!

Location: Lake Michigan – Indiana Dunes State Park
1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, IN 46304

Time: 9am – 11am EST (Check in at the Mermaid Straw tent)

Dates: The last Saturday of the month from April – September
April 24, May 29, June 26, July 31, August 28, September 25

Learn More

Waste & Recycling Facts & Figures

Check out the stats below to see why we’re asking everyone to cut waste and ramp up their recycling.

In 2018, the U.S. generated 35.7 million
tons of plastic products.*

Every year, Americans dump over
27 million tons of plastic into landfills.**

The U.S. throws away enough plastic
to circle the earth 4 times.***

The U.S. curbside recycling system collects less than ⅓ of our recyclable materials.¹

At least 8 million tons of plastic end
up in our oceans every year.²

By 2050 there will be more plastic
in the ocean than fish.³

#MakeYourMark