Plastic’s Days are Numbered

15 Feb

Looking back to our posts focused on disposables of the past we’ve covered event planning, plastic bottles, foam poison and introduced you to Janna who didn’t buy anything made in China for a year…

Today we are writing about the #s 1-7 which label every recyclable plastic and represents the chemical resin it is made from – these plastics are not intended to be single-use disposables but the numbers are often misunderstood and tossed in the garbage instead of sent to a recycling depot…

Sometimes it seems like modern America is one colossal plastic palace. The versatile material is in our cars, toys, packaging, clothing, home goods, food utensils, medical devices and so much more. It is also littering our streets, clogging our waterways and choking marine life. Many plastics can be readily recycled, but how do consumers make sense of all the different types and rules? (The Daily Green)

#1 Plastics PET or PETE (soft drinks, water bottles, mouthwash, etc)
Recycling:Picked up through most curbside recycling programs.

#2 Plastics  HDPE (milk jugs, household cleaners, shampoo bottles, etc)
Recycling:Picked up through most curbside recycling programs, although some allow only those containers with necks.

#3 Plastics  V (Vinyl) or PVC (detergent bottles, cooking oils, clear food packaging, etc)
Recycling: Rarely recycled; accepted by some plastic lumber makers.

#4 Plastics  LDPE (squeezable bottles, bread, frozen food, shopping bags, carpet, etc)
Recycling: LDPE is not often recycled through curbside programs, but some communities will accept it. Plastic shopping bags can be returned to many stores for recycling.

#5 Plastics  PP-polypropylene (yogurt containers, syrup/ketchup bottles, straws, caps, etc)
Recycling: Number 5 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs.

#6 Plastics  PS-polystyrene (disposable plates/cups, meat trays, egg cartons, take-away containers, etc)
Recycling: Number 6 plastics can be recycled through some curbside programs.

#7 Plastics  Miscellaneous (3-5 gallon water bottles, sunglasses, DVDs, ipod cases, nylon, etc)
Recycling: Number 7 plastics have traditionally not been recycled, though some curbside programs now take them.

For more info visit the Daily Green or Green Guide for helpful tips on managing your plastic use…

Now that you know a little more about your plastics, stay away from #s  3, 4, 6, & 7  which are more difficult to recycle or stay away from plastic entirely and stick with glass!

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