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View Diary: Think your plastic is being recycled? Think again. (302 comments)

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    •  A big solution for our family is Klean Kanteens (61+ / 0-)

      and Chico Bags. We have pretty much stopped using plastic water bottles and always have ice cold water in our Klean Kanteens. I fill mine up every day before leaving the house. I also have tons of Chico Bags in the car so I always have a bag available to carry items at the store.

      Recycling should be our last option, Reducing our consumption is the first and most important step

      "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

      by voracious on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:13:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Reuse (12+ / 0-)

          We reuse a lot of the plastic tubs and snap lid containers.  However eventually we fill the house up with them and they have to go in the recycle bin.

          William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through

          by wjhamilton29464 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:24:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are some of those items... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bumbi, ban nock, mjbleo, worldlotus

            Things you can not get in a plastic tub?

            You're really getting out there when you start making your own yogurt, but the thought of buying a tub of potato salad or hummus makes me grimace. And don't get me started on tubs of butter/margarine...

            •  One thing I do is leave containers in the car (11+ / 0-)

              that I can re-use for leftovers at restaurants.  Often restaurants will use styrofoam containers so we are able to avoid those as well as additional plastic ones.

              •  For many doggy bag situations, (7+ / 0-)

                I just ask the server to wrap my food in foil.  I started doing this because I literally was bringing home extras for the dogs, and they don't care if the extras are slightly smashed.

                But that got me thinking, if I just make sure to eat the smashy stuff at dinner, then the other stuff is easily taken home wrapped in foil, which once rinsed is easily recyclable.

                So for example, if I go out for Mexican food, I am sure to eat the beans and taco and have them wrap the  burrito from the combo plate.

                Way less waste.

                © grover

                So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                by grover on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:19:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  containers for instead-of-styrofoam... (0+ / 0-)

                watch for incomplete bento box sets at your flea markets and garage sales and 2d-hand stores! I have several sets (usually 2 layers + lid rather than the original 3 layers + lid). these are MADE for food use! are roomy & hand-washable.

                we have also recently started to find stainless steel tiffin sets at the Vinnies' and Goodwills around here! These are often smaller than the bento boxes, but are more likely to come with closures (I have to rubber-band my main bento pair!)

                HA! my DH found me a small tiffin stack that has revolutionized one of our favorite home-made treats, as the circumference of the units is perfect for cutting meat-pie pastry circles! like a giant cookie cutter. it is making assembly of these small hand-pies FLY by!

                "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

                by chimene on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:18:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Tiffin sets"? "Bento boxes"? (0+ / 0-)

                  What are you talking about?

                  •  Here are a couple URLs to 'splain (0+ / 0-)

                    Tiffin is a British-English slang word for second breakfast... sort of. A tiffin carrier is used in many countries such as India,  Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and Singapore.  They are compartmentalized vertically to carry separate food items. We westerners are catching on to them.

                    Tiffin set:

                    Bento is a style of a to go Japanese lunch. The traditional plate for this type of lunch is compartmentalized and have a lid. Europeans have borrowed the idea to create to go food containers.

                    Here's a link to  an American style Bento box:

                    •  Some people are starting to become very (0+ / 0-)

                      wary about reheating foods in plastic containers, of any type.  If you are in this category, the stainless-steel or aluminum style "tiffen" and "bento box" containers are a better bet.  

                      I've discovered that in any larger city, with a good sized Asian population, you can find these "lunchbox" containers in larger Asian Food Market stores or other stores catering to the wider Asian population - meaning Chinese + Japanese + Korean + Indian, etc.  Some of these stores cater to a wide range of people and carry goods from many countries.  

                      BTW - How big does a city have to be to qualify as a "larger city, with a good sized Asian population"?  Not very.  I live in the greater Kansas City area - we have no "China-Town" or other exclusive ethnic area, but I've found three of these specialty Asian Markets.

              •  That is a GREAT idea, thanks! (0+ / 0-)
              •  I buy deli meats in square plastc containers. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The recyclable paper label comes off easy, since they use a sticky glob to glue them to the lid.  Any remaining residue is easy to remove, so you have a clean lid. I save left overs in them, or use them for freezing small amounts, since they usually hold about 2 cups or 4 cups. They are free and I use them over and over again and when something happens to them, they didn't cost you anything.  They are good for putting food in, to take to someone, who is maybe a shut in or otherwise unable to cook for themselves. They also work good, in the work shop, to hold small screws nails etc, or in your craft area.  They are free!  Plastics 1 & 2 are recycled.  Milk jugs get made into plastic lumber, for decks, fences and other construction materials.  A factory, which makes plastic lumber, from milk jugs, is here in Northeastern WI, in Luxemburg, a few miles east of Green Bay. Soda bottles are used for carpeting and detergent bottles are made into a lot of different containers, such as minnow buckets.  If you smell the inside of a minnow bucket made from the detergent bottles, you can smell a faint odor of the detergent yet.  I realize that the plastics 3-7 are not recycled yet, but they are working on finding a market for them and a less expensive way to melt them down and make them into something else.  I wash the tubs, with snap on lids, plastic quart jars, ketchup squeeze bottles and donate them to the local pantry here, to break up large donations, so they can be distributed to more people.  I get groceries in paper bags, usually, so I can re-use them for putting my recyclables in, since we don't sort them, but they are sorted at a special facility, where they have disabled people doing the sorting.  It is something some of these disabled people can do, they get paid and pay taxes and are a contributing member of society, plus it makes them proud.  I save plastic grocery bags, for garbage, and if I get too many, the grocery store here has a recycling bin for them.  Not sure, if they get recycled or end up in a landfill, but at least they are not blowing around, getting tangled up in the trees and littering our landscape.  Any extra paper bags go to the Pantry also, along with egg cartons. Although plastic 3-7 are not recycled by the United States yet, 1-2 are and you have to think of all the billions of tons of those plastics, which no longer go in the landfill.

                •  There a Japanese man that invented a way to tur... (0+ / 0-)

                  There a Japanese man that invented a way to turn plastic into fuel, hope it is still on the internet look it up. If we U S could work together with this man and expand this idea, it would help the plastic overload and maybe clean up the environment....

              •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

                I keep 2 large icebox dishes in my car at all times.  Then I've always got my take-home containers with me - even if I decide to eat out on the spur of the moment.

                Lately, I've been getting some flak from some restaurants.  They're worried they'll get dinged by the health department if I'm buying take-out and they fill my own containers.  So I just have them serve it on china as if I'm eating in and transfer it to my take-out container, myself.  Problem solved.

                The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men - - Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We must be the change we wish to see in the world - - Mohandas Gandhi

                by twocrows1023 on Sun Mar 01, 2015 at 09:42:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Out there? Yogurt is super simple! Get a good o... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Out there? Yogurt is super simple! Get a good organic milk, put into sterilized canning jars, and sprinkle in starter like Yogourmet. Close lids. Keep in a warm place until it sets, probably overnight. I started doing it in pint jars so it got used up after only being opened a few times. It doesn't take as much starter to milk as the package says.

        •  REFUSE plastic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BeninSC, gingersnaps

          Actually it's

        •  REFUSE plastic (0+ / 0-)

          Actually it's
          And then

        •  And there is one more (0+ / 0-)


          1. Reduce
          2. Reuse
          3. Recycle
          4. Renew

          "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread." - Anatole France (16 April 1844 - 2 October 1924)

          by PadreMellyrn on Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 09:46:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We can't do #3 anymore. (0+ / 0-)
        •  Back when I was a boy, (0+ / 0-)

          there was a FOURTH R.


      •  I had to look both of those up... (12+ / 0-)

        For anyone who's curious, Klean Kanteens are stainless steel water bottles and Chico bags are just reusable bags I guess.


        •  There are a lot of copycats now (15+ / 0-)

          but both of those products were pioneers in that field. My insulated Klean Kanteen is my favorite water bottle. It keeps water cold all day long.

          Chico Bags were the first bags to fold into a pouch that could easily fit in a pocket. I keep 3-4 in my purse always.

          "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

          by voracious on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:36:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We've used Thinksport bottles (4+ / 0-)

            for more than 6 years now -- and think that they are wonderful.  They keep hot or cold -even have a strainer for tea leaves if you want to do hot -- but we prefer cold.  Our preference for them is that they are 25 ounces - and help to keep our hydration in check.  If you add ice to them to keep cold - the ice is still in tact more than 12 hours later.

            If cats could talk, they wouldn't.

            by gypsytoo on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:02:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And then there's Esse - - - (0+ / 0-)

            reusable bags that fit into a pouch.  They're made from 40% recycled plastic bottles [I don't know what the other 60% is] and wear like iron.  Recently, a clerk mentioned my "brand new bags."  Uh - no - they're 6 years old but you'd never guess it.

            Esse also makes soft 'everyday bags' that fit 2 to a pouch and clip to your purse or belt loop so you always have a bag or two in case of need.  And one that's the size of the plastic bag you receive at the grocery that clips to your key chain.  And they've got a freezer bag.  

            Every contingency covered.

            I used to forget to take my bags in and have to run back out to the car every time I shopped.  And those mismatched bags took up half the cart.  Now I keep them slung over the passenger seat and never forget them.  And they take up a corner of the child's seat.  What could be better?

            And no - - I'm not affiliated with them.  They don't pay me a salary [though maybe they should - - -   :)   ]

          •  I have a cloth grocery bag, but forget to take it (0+ / 0-)

            sometimes.  I use it for most of my heavy groceries and paper bags for the rest.  Usually I only have a double thickness paper bag, when I go to the store.  I save them for recyclables, since we mix them all together and they are sorted by disabled people, at the sorting facility.  Extra paper bags I give to our food pantry, for distributing food, to the needy. I bought 3 - 2 qt re-usable plastic water bottles, for my apartment for eating and one sits at my desk all the time.  I have 2 plastic re-usable water bottles by my bed, which hold about 20 oz.  I just use tap water and like my water at room temperature.

            •  I Reuse (0+ / 0-)

              The plastic grocery bags several times to carry my lunch in & other stuff. Then I give the clean ones to the second hand store or library to put resold items in.

            •  using plastic water bottles (0+ / 0-)

              If you reuse single use bottles then chemicals from the plastic leach into your water

              •  I suspect how much depends on how long at what (0+ / 0-)

                temperature the water sits in the bottle.  At my age, I just go ahead and live dangerously and take my chances.  If I can taste the plastic, I throw that bottle of water out and rinse then refill with tap water.  Luckily Willimantic has really fine tap water.

            •  using plastic water bottles (0+ / 0-)

              Leaches chemicals into your water

            •  I ran across a great idea in Backyard Chickens (0+ / 0-)

              magazine that uses the empty feed bags, which are a sort of cross between paper and plastic to  make nice looking bags for groceries, or whatever you need a tote for.  You cut it so the pictures, usually attractive chicken pictures, are in the front and back and use the other parts of the bags for sides, bottoms and handles and you sew these together.  They are very sturdy and last a long time, and it uses those feed bags instead of just throwing them away.  I raise chickens and this is something I have and can use.  

          •  My fave (0+ / 0-)

            is the Esse Bag:

            Made from 40% recycled plastic bottles.  Wear like iron.  If they ever DO wear out, Esse will take them back and recycle them into new bags.  

            A grocery tote comes with 3 full sized bags, 2 produce bags and what I call a 'slouch bag.'  The tote will hold up to 5 grocery bags [can be bought separately] or 3 grocery bags and a cold-bag.

            Before I discovered them, my hodgepodge of mismatched bags would take up half the cart.  Now, my tote takes up one corner of the child's seat.

            They also have pouches you can clip to your purse or belt loop.  Then you've always got two slouch bags with you if you are out and decide to stop at the farmer's market or dime store.

            And no, I'm not on Esse's salary.  Promise.  I just love these things.  Can't sing their praises enough.

            The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men - - Plato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We must be the change we wish to see in the world - - Mohandas Gandhi

            by twocrows1023 on Sun Mar 01, 2015 at 10:01:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Our store has joined in the TapIt effort. (15+ / 0-)

          The tap water in our area (Maryland suburbs of Washington) is among the best in the country so we did away with the weekly water deliveries and encourage our employees to drink the tap water.  Now that we are members of TapIt, people can find us online to come in and refill their water bottles for free rather than buy more water in plastic.  TapIt has partners in most states and seems to have the big cities pretty well covered, as well as some of the more out-of-the-way locations.

          •  Good to hear about this! (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, kaliope, Lujane, worldlotus

            The TapIt program is the right way to go, and I applaud you for putting your actions where your beliefs are.

            I'm on my personal well in rural Southern Maryland, with water that smells and tastes a bit like sulfur, along with a slightly golden visual tinge.  The MD Health Department certified the water quality with multiple tests when the old well gave way to a newer, deeper one; so absent a Colorado-type flood, we're fine here.

            Of course, if it weren't for all those crowded DC suburbs in Maryland pumping our aquifers dry, there wouldn't be a problem.  (:-))

            The cats are given filtered water, of course, but I've become perversely fond of the tasty well water.  Call me crazy.

            (-7.62,-7.33) Carbon footprint 11.3 metric tons. l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

            by argomd on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:29:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We had well water when I was young (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              argomd, kaliope, Lujane, ichibon, worldlotus

              but we moved to a city when I was a teen.  Living in Japan now, I've found a way to recreate the taste of well water.  We filter our water and then pour it into a 1-liter ceramic bottle (made by an artisan we know in a famous pottery enclave in Tokoname).  Then it sits in the fridge until it gets cold.  It tastes like the well water I remember.  

              If anyone might want a ceramic bottle like this, feel free to message me.  

              Odds and ends about life in Japan:

              by Hatrax on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:21:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The tap water in FL sucks. (0+ / 0-)

            It's full of crap and is bad for me and my cat.  So, yes, I buy bottled water.  But I have the 3 gallon reusable jugs which I fill up at the grocery store from a clean source.  It's no problem to schlep them back and forth.  So - - - the best of both worlds.  And Jake-the-Cat doesn't get bladder block.  Always a major plus.

            •  Our water doesn't really taste "bad" (0+ / 0-)

              (not like some we got in a tiny Texas town that smelled weird and tasted strange....I boiled it, since bottled water wasn't available back then.) but unless it's really cold, it doesn't taste "good" either.  So I fill gallon jugs at the grocery store and keep on in the fridge all the time.  I can't lift more than a gallon of water any more, or I'd use the bigger jugs.

              As for the bags, I've received a slew of very sturdy big ones from different charities I've donated to, and they go to the store with me.  I often use my electric scooter since the store is only 3 blocks away, and today I had a heavy bag in the basket and 3 more bags hanging on the handlebars.  I drive right into the kitchen (no steps to bother with) and offload directly into the fridge or the cabinets. I fold the bags and put them into the scooter basket where they're handy to grab if I'm taking the car.

            •  Two Part Filter (0+ / 0-)

              I use a Pentek two can filter. Very standard & easy to get filters for. Model US 1500 uses P-250 two filter kit. One filter is activated carbon & one probably white earth. I researched pretty thoroughly. Pentek is OEM for Ace & many others. Filters last a goodly while & the carbon will take out most really nasty industrial stuff. Activated carbon is what MOPP Suits use. Has built in electronic change monitor. Relatively cheap to operate. Put on counter top & run off diverter valve from kitchen sink. Good tasting & safe water polishing. Probably similar to what the machine at your grocery store uses.

            •  Not if you get well water from the aquifer. (0+ / 0-)

              I am fortunate to live surrounded by wetlands in the country and have a 90 ft well.  Our water is wonderful.  It is a bit hard, as all water in Florida is but otherwise is great.  My piece of land is higher than the other parts around me, though with all the rain we have had this winter, I don't think that matters much.  Our land is one big mud puddle!  We also have one corner that is wetlands for sure, even though not designated as such.  I leave it be, enjoy the wild life that comes to use it.  I don't know for sure if we are in the Aquifer but we do have nice sweet water. It isn't as good as the water I remember on our farm in Ohio, but then we got that from an underground river that ran through our property there, including right through our basement.  We had a subpump just to keep the basement from flooding but we still had a stream of water running through it and I found the outlet into lake Erie when I was a child.  You could see fresh water gushing through the rocks and into the lake and it was a fairly straight line to our farm, about 2 miles away.  That water was amazing!

          •  Champaign-Urbana, Illinois has excellent tap water (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            When my son was a student at U of IL, I would always bring a lot of water containers to fill up whenever I visited.

            Also, there were water pumps in the forest preserves in north suburban Chicago, some were very good, others not. I would remember the good ones while I was riding my bike there, then would return later with the containers in my car.

            Now, I take my containers to the water machine at the grocery store since the tap water here (Mishawaka, IN) is terrible.

        •  Thank you, tolerant... (0+ / 0-)

          now we need someone to help us with 'bento boxes' and  'tiffin sets'

          •  Not sure about the "tiffin sets" except that (0+ / 0-)

            tiffin is a word for tea.  Bento boxes are used in Japan to take various items along for lunch. They sit on top of one another to keep foods separate.  They also can be very attractive, or at least used to be when we were stationed there many years ago.  The Japanese have always like useful items to also be nice looking with an artistic touch.

      •  I use a mason jar with a lid that has a hole in it (24+ / 0-)

        For my glass straw. That way the water is only touching glass, keeping the taste really nice.

        My friends call it hillbilly engineering. :-)

        Women create the entire labor force.
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:19:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do those things (12+ / 0-)

        Those are pretty easy. The thing that piles up for me is yogurt containers. Most aren't plastic that's safe to reuse. I might have to switch to the insanely expensive local dairy's yogurt that comes in jars.

        "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

        by Joan McCarter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:31:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yogurt is a problem for me too and most of them (5+ / 0-)

          come with foil tops so I can't even reuse the cups for another purpose.

          "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

          by voracious on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:46:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh, yes you can, voracious. (6+ / 0-)

            They're da bomb for making a lunch-size jello snack "to go".
            Or for holding that last little dab of leftovers until there's enough last little dabs for a pot of soup.
            Either way you can re-close 'em with either Press N Seal (tm) or wax paper and a rubber band.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:33:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Fortunately, yogurt containers are incredibly (6+ / 0-)

          useful for lots of things. I am generally able to reuse them.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:40:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Until there are too many (7+ / 0-)

            to fit in the cupboard any more!

            "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

            by Joan McCarter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:48:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you do crafts or carpentry? (0+ / 0-)

              They're great as holders for tacks, brads and screws when the boxes give out [they've become downright flimsy lately.]  And snippits of yarn.  And upholstery tacks and push pins.  And a pen/pencil holder. Oh, all sorts of small items.

              •  I use yogurt containers to hold the coloring for (0+ / 0-)

                Easter eggs and as dishes for my grandchildren's tempra paint. They also make great holders for stuff that winds up in junk drawers. I'v organized my entire beading collection in these. They're large enough at the top to fish out a bead without dumping them all over.  i've even punched holes in the bottoms and used them to start seedlings in the spring.

        •  Buy larger (36 oz) yogurt containers? (6+ / 0-)

          I buy plain Fage at Costco and stir in a tiny bit of preserves for flavor. First, it's way cheaper.

          The larger containers are useful for storing dry goods from dog treats to items bought in bulk (raisins, nuts, oatmeal, sugar).

          I don't store wet food or liquid in them, largely  because they don't seal super well, but also because I just don't have much need.  But I'm  comfortable with dry foods, especially those I go through quickly (and dog treats are constantly being refilled around here).

          But I know many large yogurt containers are #5 plastic, the same as Glad and Ziploc food storage containers. So as plastics go (yes, it's all relative)  safe for food storage.

          © grover

          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:32:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  why not make your own yogurt? (6+ / 0-)

          Very easy to do, at least if you start with good milk - I have found that using local and/or organic milk makes great yogurt time after time. Just for the first time, make sure you have a good starter - Stonyfield, Brown Cow, or your local organic brand with live culture in it, or other (plain) yogurt you like.

          Here's my method: I put a half gallon of milk into a pan, warm it until it has a skin, let it cool down until it's just warm if dripped on my wrist. Then I take 4 T of yogurt and put it in a half gallon jar (or 2 quart jars), add the just-warm milk, and stir. Cover the jar(s), put it in a cardboard box that has enough room to pack a warm coat down around the jar - I use an old down parka.

          6-12 hours later -  put jar in fridge. Great yogurt, not too much work, saves a lot of money, and no plastic.

          Recent diary: in bed with Opus Dei link

          by beverlywoods on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 04:31:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have no idea (0+ / 0-)

        what Kleen Kanteens or Chico Bags are. Are they something local?

        I've never used plastic water bottles, only glass. Buy fruit juice in a glass bottle and keep the bottle. I buy plastic containers only if absolutely necessary, when a product comes only in a plastic container, and transfer it to a glass bottle as soon as I get home.

      •  I do those things, but... (0+ / 0-)

        My daily paper comes wrapped in two plastic bags every day. I reuse some of them for litter box waste, but I have to discard the rest. I put them in the grocery store plastic bag collection bin, but who knows what happens to them next.

        I also get plastic bags in things that I mail order, which use plastic air-filled bladders as packing material. I suppose that's better than styrofoam peanuts.

        And I haven't figured out how to avoid the plastic bags from the supermarket that you use to hold loose produce.

        •  Another thing to save and take to the store (0+ / 0-)

          with you, lesliet.  I never put bananas in a bag, and I don't eat apples all that often, so today I just bought one and didn't put it in a bad either.

          My paper comes in a bag if rain is forecast, and they're so skinny I haven't figured out a use for them, other than to put garbage in that shouldn't go in the disposal.  I do put them into one of the regular store plastic bags and then put them into the big box at the store.

      •  Water (0+ / 0-)

        We have a filter under the sink with a separate faucet. I use a glass bottle that contained juice and fill it for my water.

        Aside from the pollution aspect of plastic, most of the plastic water bottles leach chemical into the water, especially after sitting around in factories, then being shipped, then sitting on shelves. And especially if left out in the sun.

    •  Going into a landfill (6+ / 0-)

      Either in America or China is preferable to having it burned now. I'm not aware of any Chlorine capture technology at this time.

      •  The problem with landfill (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, Dianna

        Is much of the plastic disposed there, specifically low gage plastic bags, migrate to the ocean where they break down to particles that kill aquatic life.

        Hence the importance of banning the use plastic shopping bags or charging to discourage use.

        •  not oceans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Carol in San Antonio

          landfilled plastics never reach the ocean.

          landfills are carefully designed so that the solids deposited there, stay there.  and they are effective at that job. the problem is that many plastics can degrade into or release things like vinyl chloride, phthalates, and other toxics that leach out of the landfill and into groundwater.  

          freedom isn't free, but it isn't dumb either.

          by astro on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 04:57:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not sure there IS a solution for #7 (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, zmom, Puddytat, JesseCW, kaliope

      IIRC #7 is 'meh, whatever, we have no idea what's in this' and/or 'this is like six different kinds of plastics at different parts, ha ha ha you're fucked'.

    •  Sadly I've come to this realization a while back (8+ / 0-)

      I see recycling for the city as just another way of selling you more cart cubic space every month - instead of buying a single huge cart, you now pay the same for a smaller garbage cart and have a recycle cart as well (where we meticulously clean off and dump plastics, paper, and other allowable stuff).

      The best way is to avoid using unneeded packaging.  I like Amazon's frustration free packaging, I don't get pharmacy prescriptions delivered (it's insane how they much packaging they use!) despite it's convenience.  We try to reuse what we can (e.g.: refillable bottle + local purified water as opposed to buying bottled water).

      Having little kids makes this much more difficult (non-cloth diapers are probably at least 1/10 of the world waste output)... but we do what we can (glass baby jars, steaming veggies, large stew pots every week).

      One biggie that I'm happy about is we're about 99% rechargeable batteries - the tech is here (Eneloop rocks!).  I literally have like 100 rechargeable AA/AAA and C/D adapters in use around our house.  

      We also have gone LED/CFL almost throughout, including our ceiling cans.

      Still, I think garbage buildup is a sign of unsustainable culture.

      Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

      by sacrelicious on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:21:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Paying for cart space? (0+ / 0-)

        There's nothing like that in Philadelphia (PA)  where I live--no separate charges for trash or recycling pickup or containers (businesses have to arrange for private trash removal). Sometimes I wish there were separate charges when I see the enormous trash bags that some households put out! And a lot of people here seem unable to wrap their heads around recycling anything--metals, glass, paper, cardboard, as well as plastic--in any form. Even though it's supposed to be mandatory, they just don't do it and apparently the city doesn't want to put any resources into enforcement, thus sending the message that it's not really important.

    •  Hemp (6+ / 0-)

      could be used to replace many of these plastic containers.  The problem is the US Government classifies industrial hemp the same as marijuana.  This demonstrates the ignorance in Congress.  Many Congressional members receive large donations from the oil industry which would compete with the industrial hemp industry.  We all know that Congress votes for whatever makes their donors happy.

      •  Exactly right (0+ / 0-)

        As long as there is money in politics and our elections, money will always win.  We have the best government money can buy.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 12:38:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But Congress can be taught and (0+ / 0-)

        not bought if there is enough pressure on them. Raising awareness of the problem with plastics is also needed. I once wrote to  a local company when they switched from glass to plastic packaging, and got others to do the same. We boycotted the product (applesauce) until they went back to glass. Yes, it costs a few cents more, but I think it tastes better in glass.

      •  industrial hemp growing--state by state (0+ / 0-)

        Oregon's not the only state.   I think some of the farmers are having difficulty getting going but suspect at least a few will manage.  And OR's still a big timber state (hemp can be used to make paper so it's a potential source of competition for the pulp and paper industry).  

        States w/medical marijuana laws had difficulty w/the fed gov approach--since federal law criminalized marijuana.  But now, it seems the feds are finally starting to back off.  The DEA must've found another way to pump up its "capture" stats (lots of meth labs to find I guess).

        It's difficult but it's starting to happen.   Some changes happen (good and bad) state by state or they can.

    •  As recently as the late 80s and early 90s I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was able to buy milk from Byrne Dairy in Watertown, NY in returnable glass half gallon bottles. It is possible to have reusable containers. In the mid 90s I bought yoghurt in returnable jars in Germany.

      We were sold on the convenience of disposable containers. It's time we returned to returnables.  

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 10:36:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I miss Larry's in Seattle (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady

        I don't think I've seen milk in glass bottles anywhere in Seattle since the local Larry's chain went under about a decade ago. Whole Foods might have it but there isn't one anywhere near where I live.

        Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

        by Omir the Storyteller on Sat Oct 19, 2013 at 07:47:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  right now in central New Mexico (0+ / 0-)

        I can buy Rasband Dairy milk in gallon glass bottles that have a cash deposit.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 07:38:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Byrne Dairy (0+ / 0-)

        Byrne Dairy still distributes milk in 1/2 gallon glass, returnable bottles in the Syracuse area.  There's a 50 cent deposit - motivation enough to make sure they don't end up in the recycle bin.

        Now, if only beer bottlers would re-use their bottles . . .

        "The French have no word for entrepreneur!" G. W. Bush

        by bbuudd on Sun Mar 01, 2015 at 08:36:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Recycled (0+ / 0-)

      Science seems to be working on many things today.  Hopefully,  they'll come up with cost effective, efficient ways to recycle this in low cost methods to  lessen our considerable  need for fossil fuels.  It 's time.

    •  Not going into landfill (0+ / 0-)

      The article doesn't say it's going into landfill.  Why would the Chinese pay $11.3B to put something in a landfill?

    •  A large portion of the recycling sent to China... (0+ / 0-)

      Ends up in the air as carcinogenic smog.  Many categories of recycled items are simply burned for fuel, after the profitable materials are selectively recovered, leaving things like plastics that are difficult to recycle to be simply burned to boil water or to heat some other factory process.

      Of course this has made many large metro areas in China as horribly polluted  as you could imagine.

      So yeah, it is no surprise that to cut-off the supply of cheap-but-dirty fuel for the industry furnaces, it is important to stop allowing it to be imported into the country.

      "In my country we call it corruption. In America, you call it Lobbying. But it's the same thing!" --Robert Reich quoting a foreign visitor to the US

      by Yedmundi on Mon Mar 02, 2015 at 02:23:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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