Recycling – I told you so!

August 3, 2007 at 1:19 pm 3 comments

recycled newsRemember how I said recycling greasy and dirty paper and plastic was worse than not recycling at all? Apparently, I am not the only one. This week, letsrecycle.com, a website that specializes in waste and recycling news of the UK, published a story that confirms it. Chase Plastics, a British recycling company, has called councils to stop collecting plastic film from households.

(Plastic film is a technical term that applies not only to plastic film wrap but all kinds of thin, soft plastics, like pretty much every kind of wrapper there is, from the toilet paper package to plastic bags)

According to Jessica Baker, representing the company, “kerbside collections should be restricted to plastic bottles only”.

“This would reduce the contamination of other materials, such as paper and aluminium, caused by food residues stuck to cling film and plastic trays. It would also make sorting plastics easier and solve problems at materials recycling facilities, where film “gums” the machinery. While councils appear to be in favor of dropping film, the difficulty lies in convincing a public which is calling for all materials to be recycled. The problem is getting the message across that it’s just as important to leave certain things out as it is to put them in. Plastic is inert in landfill, it’s material which decomposes that is causing problems”

So there you have it. I told you so. *Does a little goofy ‘I told you so’ dance*

Photo recycled from Flawka, on Flickr.

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Entry filed under: environment, plastic, recycling.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Emily  |  August 3, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    See, this was my issue with not sorting. We throw everything in together. So, if I cannot get a glass jar perfectly clear, I worry it will contaminate the paper and do not throw it in. What’s a girl to do?

  • 2. emily  |  August 8, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    I have question about drink containers (in the European context; I don’t know if they make them the same way in the US). What do you suppose would be better: a tetra-pak for juice and milk, because it’s theoretically made of paper, even though it has to be put into a different bin than the paper? Or a PET bottle (plastic #1)? Alina, do you know much about the quantity of energy consumed during the recycling of each of these materials?

    I’m trying to use half as many of these containers by reducing juice consumption. I started watering it down by half… it’s actually a nice, subtle taste!

    Thanks the links in the most recent post. I’d heard that about coins before; and Sharon’s refutation of the pseudo-environmentalist’s “drive your car” argument is just soooo good!

  • 3. Alina  |  August 10, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    Wow, 2 Emilies, huh? This is gonna get confusing…

    1st Emily, you can just let it dry before you put it in, then there is no problem. In that case, I guess I wouldn’t put in the olive oil bottles and tuna cans that are normally okay, just because grease doesn’t really dry. And you already know that grease on paper and plastic is a big no-no.

    2nd emily, tetra paks are made of mostly paper, but they also have several layers of plastic and some tin foil in there. That makes them very hard and costly to recycle (if they even get recycled). On the other hand, PET bottles take the least energy to make and are the better plastic to recycle. So IMHO, PET is better, as long as you make sure you recycle them 😉

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