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Kid's Version:

Can I Recycle This?

A Kids' Guide to Better Recycling and How to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

Children's book available in hardcover and
e-book formats!

Activity Worksheet and Teacher Supporting Materials now available!

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Adult Version:

Can I Recycle This?

A Guide to Better Recycling and How to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

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Praise for Can I Recycle This?

"If ever there was a cogent argument for drastically reducing single-use plastic by redesigning everyday products, this is it." — Pasadena Weekly

“In this upbeat, helpful guide, recycling expert Romer walks readers through the specifics of what to recycle, what happens to all those recycled items, and what kind of environmental impacts result.”—Booklist, starred review

"If you’ve ever been perplexed by the byzantine rules of recycling, you’re not alone…you’ll want to read Can I Recycle This?… An extensive look at what you can and cannot chuck into your blue bin.” — Washington Post

"Jennie Romer is a lawyer, an environmental activist, and a leading expert on single-use plastics. In her must-read new book, Can I Recycle This?: A Guide to Better Recycling and How to Reduce Single-Use Plastics (Penguin Books, 2021), she shows you how not to be a “wishcycler”— someone who wishfully thinks things they recycle will be recycled." — Sierra Magazine

"In a utopian world, a (recycled) copy of Can I Recycle This? would be distributed to every household ... just in time for Earth Day next week, this delightful, beautifully illustrated little guide is one I can imagine myself picking up almost every day." — Porchlight Books

"[A]n easy-to-follow format that uses fun graphs and real truth about the business of recycling." — Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan

The first illustrated guidebook that answers the age-old question: Can I Recycle This?

Since the dawn of the recycling system, people the world over have stood by their bins, holding an everyday object, wondering, “Can I recycle this?” This simple question reaches into our concern for the environment, the care we take to keep our homes and our communities clean, and how we interact with our local government. Recycling rules vary widely from place to place, with exceptions and caveats at every turn, leaving many of us scratching our heads at the simple act of throwing something away.


Taking readers on a quick but informative tour of how recycling actually works, Can I Recycle This? gives straightforward answers to whether dozens of common household objects can or cannot be recycled, as well as the information you need to make that decision for other items you encounter. 

Jennie Romer has been working for over a decade to help cities and states across America draft meaningful legislation to help communities produce less plastic waste. Along the way, she learned a lot about which parts of our current recycling system work well and which parts don’t work at all. Can I Recycle This? distills her years of experience into an approachable, easy-to-use guide that will change the way you think about what you throw away, and how you do it. 

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Meet Jennie Romer


Jennie Romer is a lawyer, sustainability expert, founder of, and former Legal Associate for the Surfrider Foundation’s Plastic Pollution Initiative. She is the author of Can I Recycle This? and has worked on plastic pollution reduction policy for nearly 15 years I @jennie_romer I @jenniethefreckle



& Christie Young

Christie Young is an artist and illustrator currently based in Austin, Texas. She’s collaborated with clients of all shapes and sizes, ranging from Penguin Random House to Bumble to Madewell. Her work is a reflection of her interests in nature, travel, and storytelling. 

The first public statement about Can I Recycle This? — the book deal announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace!

Order from local bookstores


Jennie is incredibly grateful to anyone who orders the book from any retailer. If you want to go the extra mile, here are a few local bookshops that Jennie suggests:


Word in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY


Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY


Green Apple Books, in the SF Bay Area, CA


The Strand in Manhattan is Jennie's favorite!


You can also order directly from a local bookshop near you by entering your zip code at and clicking on the bolded bookstores. Ordering directly from your local bookstore not only demonstrates your support — you may be able to pick up your order in person. That can help you avoid pesky delivery packaging! is also a good option if you’re planning to order online. It offers a small discount and the profits are shared with local bookstores.

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Teacher Supporting Materials:
Can I Recycle This
? A Kid's Guide to Better Recycling 

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