While most plastics are touted as recyclable, the reality is that they’re "downcycled." A plastic milk carton can never be recycled into another carton - it can be made into a lower-quality item like plastic lumber, which can’t be recycled.
Obviously, there are times when disposable items or buying in bulk are not as practical, such as traveling or picnics. The trick to all this, is to limit. We can take responsibility by changing our daily habits. Precycling may take a little more work in some cases...but an ounce of prevention is the main ingredient here!