Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sad news about plastics recycling

A note I sent out earlier this week:

To all my recycling enthusiasts,

As you've probably guessed from the subject line, this is not good news, but here it is: Because of the poor economy, there is no market for many post-consumer plastics that up to now we've been recycling. (This does NOT include the #1 and #2 bottles with a neck that everyone recycles curbside) Coon Rapids is changing its policy, and Eastside Food Co-op is sure to soon follow. From now on the only plastics that will be accepted for recycling are #1 cups and lids, #2s (all shapes and sizes) and #5s (all shapes and sizes). Everything else must be thrown away, including bakery containers, clamshells (the type of package that strawberries come in -- the package opens up like a clamshell), microwave-food trays, most lids ... it's very sad.

What can we do? Write to the companies that make the products you buy and ask them to switch to a compostable or recyclable package. Tell them we can't recycle the plastic packaging their product comes in, and ask them to come up with an alternative. They need to hear from us!

Thanks to all of you who've been so diligent about bringing me things to be recycled. If markets improve and more types of plastic become recyclable again, I'll definitely let you know.

So, to recap, only
#1 cups and lids
#2s, all shapes and sizes
#5s, all shapes and sizes
are recyclable.

I'll continue taking the #5s to Whole Foods, and the #1s and #2s to Coon Rapids.

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