Most people want to recycle, but sometimes it's hard to know what can and can't be recycled. 

In a new article from Wink Media, Collier County (Fla.) Waste Management district manager David Phillips described why following good recycling practices is essential to curbside recycling. "By putting trash in your recycle cart, it's actually creating more issues for us because we're not able to send it to our material recycling facility."

So, what items do we mistakenly recycle? Plastic bags are the biggest culprit. They are only recyclable if they are returned to the supermarket. Additionally, plastic materials that are covered in food waste are not recyclable, so make sure to wash off any food waste before recycling plastic. When recycling, stick to the five materials that can always be recycled (as long as they're clean): paper, cardboard, glass, plastic containers and aluminum.

There is good news: recycling beverage containers is easy! America's beverage companies make 100% recyclable glass, aluminum and plastic beverage containers - even the caps are recyclable - so you never have to worry about putting them in the wrong bin. If your bottles and cans are empty, you can throw them in recycling!

You can learn more about the beverage industry's leadership on recycling and other environmental issues at