That thing about "It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little" may not apply to most people and their approach to their trash. I see two problems 1) not all "plastic" is the same and people can just lose the will to recycle because the rules are complex, locally variable and seemingly arbitrary. 2) The Me factor: the rules surely don't apply to me, my time is more valuable than other people's time.
Here's useful, profusely illustrated, NPR essay on the do-and-don't of recycling which concentrates on the physical, ather than chemical [list HDPE LDPE PET etc.] attributes of trash. It's worth a peek because it gives a reason for some of the rules.
- Saranwrap / clingfilm tend to wrap around the rollers of the machinery
- remove the thin plastic label from the water bottles
- crisp-packets get diverted into the paper stream
- small plastic [pen tops, bottle-caps, bread closure tags] fall through the cracks at the MRF to accumulate as a fire hazard
- plastic 'clam-shells' for salad bars, chemically identical to water bottles, are a pain in the tits in many MRFs - don't buy them!
- polystyrene is a problem because it is 95% air and needs to be de-aired / compressed before re-use.
- Landfill is by volume - although they charge by weight because it's easier.
- expanded polystyrene punches the economy of disposal way above its weight