Archives for posts with tag: packaging
plastic bottle recycling

View of over 2 million plastic bottles for recycling.

When people recycle, they protect the environment and prevent valuable materials from going to waste. However, it’s important to check the recycling codes on bottles, tubs, bags and other items. Proper sorting improves efficiency and reduces the operating costs of recycling facilities. Plastic manufacturers use seven different codes.

#1 PETE/PET: Polyethyl tetraethylenei. Many beverages come in plastic bottles of this type. If your city doesn’t accept these bottles, you may be able to bring them to a redemption center.

#2 HDPE: High-density polyethylene. Manufacturers often use this plastic for rigid containers. Most recycling programs accept this type. You may have to recycle number two plastic bags at a grocery store.

#3 PVC/V: Polyvinyl chloride. Various chemical containers and other products contain this plastic. Only some towns and cities accept it. Remember to thoroughly rinse out any chemical residues.

#4 LDPE/LLDPE: Low-density polyethylene or linear low-density polyethylene. This more flexible plastic is used in some bags and condiment bottles. Most cities recycle it.

#5 PP: Polypropylene. This relatively common plastic is found in some cereal bowls and containers for refrigerated foods. You might be able to recycle it in a major town or city.

#6 PS: Polystyrene. This material can come in the form of plastic or foam in disposable cups, trays and cartons. It is particularly harmful to the environment. In most areas, it must be discarded.

#7  OTHER: Unlike the other numbers, seven doesn’t refer to a specific plastic. The material may consist of multiple plastics or a less common type. Few cities recycle it.

Metal, glass and cardboard often lack code numbers. If you need to sort metals, use a magnet; it won’t stick to aluminum. A symbol with a phone number usually means that you must take the item to a special location to recycle it. Contact your local government for specific sorting guidelines.

Sources

1. Argonne National Laboratory, http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/environ/ENV003.HTM
2. New York City, http://www.nyc.gov/html/nycwasteless/html/resources/plastics_codes.shtml

Find places to recycle plastic @ RecyclerFinder.com!

We love Green eggs and ham

According to the United Nations (UN), economic growth leads to diets rich in meat and dairy products. However, the processes used to make these foods available to consumers lead to water, land, and air pollution. The UN identifies numerous pressures these industries place on the environment: destruction of habitats, emission of harmful greenhouse gases, deforestation, urban air pollution, and pollution of freshwater resources.

Animal wastes contain harmful gases such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, and methane. Livestock and poultry are often given high-protein feed that contains significant amounts of nitrogen. The excess nitrogren that cannot be metabolized by animals is excreted as waste products, which emit ammonia as they decompose. High concentrations of ammonia in poorly ventilated animal housing facilities have a negative effect on animal health. For example, poultry may lose weight or cease laying eggs. The ammonia released into the atmosphere contributes to acid rain. Furthermore, exposure to high levels of ammonia can cause respiratory problems in humans. Carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect, which is a leading cause of climate change.

The meat and dairy industries also contribute to the destruction of ecosystems and the loss of biodiversity. Animal wastes, pesticides and fertilizers applied to feedcrops, and chemicals used in tanneries leach into the soil and water, which leads to the destruction of aquatic ecosystems through eutrophication and the degradation of coral reefs. As these ecosystems become unbalanced, marine organisms die or migrate to other regions. Livestock production requires large amounts of land. As these operations expand, deforestation leads to the destruction of land-based ecosystems.

Consumers can fight these threats to the environment. People can change their eating habits by switching to a vegetarian diet or reducing their consumption of meat and dairy products. For example, families can cut meat from their menus one day each week. People in rural areas might consider raising their own livestock and poultry as their ancestors did. Reducing consumption levels is the best way to eliminate the environmental impact of the meat and dairy industries.

Find places to recycle your food waste at www.recyclerfinder.com