Discarded plastic containers that won’t be recycled sit bundled for the landfill at the Burbank Recycle Center

Credit: Laura Faye Tenenbaum

Most likely, when you toss your plastic trash into a recycle bin you believe you’re doing the right thing. You think your plastic waste gets magically whisked away to a recycle center where it will be transformed back into more useful plastic items.

Recycling feels like a harmless way to get rid of stuff, a way to prevent your plastic cup or bag or food container from the landfill where it might sit for decades before leaching toxins into the groundwater. But these pleasant little recycling sagas mostly aren’t true and trusting them is a mistake.

Globally, only 10-15% of plastic currently gets recycled. That means 85-90% of it either ends up in the landfill or littered throughout the environment. The World Economic Forum estimates that as much as 30% of plastic leaks out of the collection system and is unaccounted for, which means it’s scattered in your local waterway or in the ocean. The fantasy that the plastic we trustingly put in the recycle bin actually gets recycled and re-used again is just that, a fantasy.

Since sunlight is the best disinfectant, shedding light on recycling might dispel the myths and help you make better decisions.

Myth number 1: You might think your single-use plastic water bottle goes off to be shredded, melted, ground up into tiny plastic pellets and these good-as-new plastic pellets are re-made into other useful items. Yay, right? Nope.

While it is true that your plastic water bottle is one of the few types of plastic that can be recycled, the quality of the plastic degrades once it’s been used. Recycled plastic is generally down-cycled into lower quality, lesser value plastic.

This means two things. First, unlike metal, which can be melted down and reused over and over and over again, plastic can – at most – only be recycled one time. For example, your water bottle doesn’t get turned back into a new water bottle. Instead, it might become something like a non-recyclable carpet or a poly-cotton fabric such as fleece that’s also non-recyclable. So plastic only gets recycled the one time and can’t be recycled again.

Second, because the quality of recycled plastic is lower, virgin plastic pellets must be added to the recycled pellets to create the next new plastic thing. Because of contaminants, there’s a limit to how much recycled plastic can be used in food grade containers. To make new yoghurt containers from recycled plastic, for example, only a portion of the plastic comes from pellets that have been recycled and the rest is new virgin plastic.

This means that there will always be more and more new virgin plastic mixed in with the recycling. And more and more plastic means only one thing: It means more plastic.

Metal, on the other hand, is not only much easier to melt down and repurpose, it can also be reused over and over again. So if you want to stop the endless flow of plastic into our environment, then break out your vintage metal lunch box, carry your metal water bottle and go for those cans of beans and tuna at the grocery store.

Myth number 2: You can try tossing those fun bright orange, purple or blue containers of laundry detergent and shampoo into the recycling when they’re empty. But, guess what? Most likely they won’t be recycled.

Intense or dark colored plastic is difficult if not impossible to reuse. Think of mixing paint. The darker the paint is, the more difficult to change the color to a new color. Only white or natural plastic is of high enough value to bother putting it through the recycling process. Instead of being recycled, your bright colorful plastic might sit bundled up at your local recycle center for a few days before being trucked off to the landfill.

Keep this in mind while shopping and if you have to use plastic, always choose items in white or clear containers. Also remember that black plastic is the most difficult color to recycle, so if you forget to bring your own re-useable coffee cup, pick the white colored to-go lid.

Myth number 3:  Single-use plates and utensils labeled “biodegradable” must be a sustainable alternative, right? Well, no. The the term “biodegradable” is a misrepresentation.

Many if not most of those “biodegradable” plates and utensils sold as sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic aren’t really compostable or recyclable. The idea behind bio-plastic products is that they’re supposed to break down. But truthfully, they only break down in a very high heat industrial composting facility. For us regular people with backyard compost bins, these plates and utensils will not decompose.

If these products end up in a lake, river or ocean, they’re basically the same as plastic. What’s more, if you do put products labeled biodegradable or compostable into the recycle bin, they won’t be recycled because they aren’t recyclable.

Recyclable commodities are part of a complex global market that is influenced by impurities in the products and market demand. While corporations are responsible for designing these single use products meant to be tossed, all of us are paying for these “conveniences” both financially and environmentally. As consumers, we have the power to make better choices about our purchases because ultimately, this disposable, single use lifestyle is unsustainable.

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(******* )(******** )Disposed of plastic containers that will not be recycled sit bundled for the land fill at the Burbank Recycle Center

Credit: Laura Faye Tenenbaum

Probably, when you toss your plastic garbage into a recycle bin you think you’re doing the ideal thing. You believe your plastic waste gets amazingly blended away to a recycle center where it will be changed back into better plastic products.

Recycling seems like a safe method to eliminate things, a method to avoid your plastic cup or bag or food container from the land fill where it may sit for years prior to seeping toxic substances into the groundwater. However these enjoyable little recycling legends mainly aren’t real and trusting them is an error.

Worldwide, just 10-15% of plastic presently gets recycled. That indicates 85-90% of it either winds up in the land fill or cluttered throughout the environment. The World Economic Online forum approximates that as much as 30% of plastic leakages out of the collection system and is unaccounted for, which indicates it’s spread in your regional waterway or in the ocean. The dream that the plastic we trustingly put in the recycle bin really gets recycled and re-used once again is simply that, a dream.

Considering that sunshine is the very best disinfectant, clarifying recycling may eliminate the misconceptions and assist you make much better choices.

Misconception number 1: You may believe your single-use plastic water bottle goes off to be shredded, melted, ground up into small plastic pellets and these good-as-new plastic pellets are re-made into other beneficial products. Yay, right? Nope.

While it holds true that your plastic water bottle is among the couple of kinds of plastic that can be recycled, the quality of the plastic breaks down once it’s been utilized. Recycled plastic is usually down-cycled into lower quality, lower worth plastic.

(************ )This indicates 2 things. Initially, unlike metal, which can be melted down and recycled over and over and over once again, plastic can – at many – just be recycled one time. For instance, your water bottle does not get reversed into a brand-new water bottle. Rather, it may end up being something like a non-recyclable carpet or a poly-cotton material such as fleece that’s likewise non-recyclable. So plastic just gets recycled the one time and can’t be recycled once again.

2nd, due to the fact that the quality of recycled plastic is lower, virgin plastic pellets need to be contributed to the recycled pellets to produce the next brand-new plastic thing. Since of impurities, there’s a limitation to just how much recycled plastic can be utilized in food grade containers. To make brand-new yoghurt containers from recycled plastic, for instance, just a part of the plastic originates from pellets that have actually been recycled and the rest is brand-new virgin plastic.

This indicates that there will constantly be increasingly more brand-new virgin plastic blended in with the recycling. And increasingly more plastic methods just one thing: It indicates more plastic.

Metal, on the other hand, is not just a lot easier to melt down and repurpose, it can likewise be recycled over and over once again. So if you wish to stop the unlimited circulation of plastic into our environment, then break out your vintage metal lunch box, bring your metal water bottle and opt for those cans of beans and tuna at the supermarket.

Misconception number 2: You can attempt tossing those enjoyable brilliant orange, purple or blue containers of laundry cleaning agent and hair shampoo into the recycling when they’re empty. However, think what? Probably they will not be recycled.

Extreme or dark colored plastic is tough if not difficult to recycle. Consider blending paint. The darker the paint is, the harder to alter the color to a brand-new color. Just white or natural plastic is of high sufficient worth to trouble putting it through the recycling procedure. Rather of being recycled, your brilliant vibrant plastic may sit wrapped at your regional recycle center for a couple of days prior to being trucked off to the land fill.

Keep this in mind while shopping and if you need to utilize plastic, constantly select products in white or clear containers. Likewise bear in mind that black plastic is the most tough color to recycle, so if you forget to bring your own re-useable coffee cup, select the white colored to-go cover.

Misconception number 3: Single-use plates and utensils identified “naturally degradable” must be a sustainable option, right? Well, no. The the term ” naturally degradable” is a misstatement.

Lots Of if not the majority of those “naturally degradable” plates and utensils offered as sustainable options to single-use plastic aren’t truly compostable or recyclable. The concept behind bio-plastic items is that they’re expected to break down. However honestly, they just break down in an extremely high heat commercial composting center. For us routine individuals with yard garden compost bins, these plates and utensils will not break down.

If these items wind up in a lake, river or ocean, they’re generally the like plastic. What’s more, if you do put items identified naturally degradable or compostable into the recycle bin, they will not be recycled due to the fact that they aren’t recyclable.

Recyclable products belong to a complicated international market that is affected by pollutants in the items and market need. While corporations are accountable for creating these single usage items indicated to be tossed, everyone are spending for these “benefits” both economically and ecologically. As customers, we have the power to make much better options about our purchases due to the fact that eventually, this non reusable, single usage way of life is unsustainable.

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22132501376″ >

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Disposed of plastic containers that will not be recycled sit bundled for the land fill at the Burbank Recycle Center

Credit: Laura Faye Tenenbaum

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Probably, when you toss your plastic garbage into a recycle bin you think you’re doing the ideal thing. You believe your plastic waste gets amazingly blended away to a recycle center where it will be changed back into better plastic products.

Recycling seems like a safe method to eliminate things, a method to avoid your plastic cup or bag or food container from the land fill where it may sit for years prior to seeping toxic substances into the groundwater. However these enjoyable little recycling legends mainly aren’t real and trusting them is an error.

Worldwide, just 10 – 15 % of plastic presently gets recycled. That indicates 85 – 90 % of it either winds up in the land fill or cluttered throughout the environment. The World Economic Online forum approximates that as much as 30 % of plastic leakages out of the collection system and is unaccounted for , which indicates it’s spread in your regional waterway or in the ocean. The dream that the plastic we trustingly put in the recycle bin really gets recycled and re-used once again is simply that, a dream.

Considering that sunshine is the very best disinfectant, clarifying recycling may eliminate the misconceptions and assist you make much better choices.

Misconception number 1: You may believe your single-use plastic water bottle goes off to be shredded, melted, ground up into small plastic pellets and these good-as-new plastic pellets are re-made into other beneficial products. Yay, right? Nope.

While it holds true that your plastic water bottle is among the couple of kinds of plastic that can be recycled, the quality of the plastic breaks down once it’s been utilized. Recycled plastic is usually down-cycled into lower quality, lower worth plastic.

This indicates 2 things. Initially, unlike metal, which can be melted down and recycled over and over and over once again, plastic can – at many – just be recycled one time. For instance, your water bottle does not get reversed into a brand-new water bottle. Rather, it may end up being something like a non-recyclable carpet or a poly-cotton material such as fleece that’s likewise non-recyclable. So plastic just gets recycled the one time and can’t be recycled once again.

2nd, due to the fact that the quality of recycled plastic is lower, virgin plastic pellets need to be contributed to the recycled pellets to produce the next brand-new plastic thing. Since of impurities, there’s a limitation to just how much recycled plastic can be utilized in food grade containers. To make brand-new yoghurt containers from recycled plastic, for instance, just a part of the plastic originates from pellets that have actually been recycled and the rest is brand-new virgin plastic.

This indicates that there will constantly be increasingly more brand-new virgin plastic blended in with the recycling. And increasingly more plastic methods just one thing: It indicates more plastic.

Metal, on the other hand, is not just a lot easier to melt down and repurpose, it can likewise be recycled over and over once again. So if you wish to stop the unlimited circulation of plastic into our environment, then break out your vintage metal lunch box, bring your metal water bottle and opt for those cans of beans and tuna at the supermarket.

Misconception number 2: You can attempt tossing those enjoyable brilliant orange, purple or blue containers of laundry cleaning agent and hair shampoo into the recycling when they’re empty. However, think what? Probably they will not be recycled.

Extreme or dark colored plastic is tough if not difficult to recycle. Consider blending paint. The darker the paint is, the harder to alter the color to a brand-new color. Just white or natural plastic is of high sufficient worth to trouble putting it through the recycling procedure. Rather of being recycled, your brilliant vibrant plastic may sit wrapped at your regional recycle center for a couple of days prior to being trucked off to the land fill.

Keep this in mind while shopping and if you need to utilize plastic, constantly select products in white or clear containers. Likewise bear in mind that black plastic is the most tough color to recycle, so if you forget to bring your own re-useable coffee cup, select the white colored to-go cover.

Misconception number 3: Single-use plates and utensils identified “naturally degradable” must be a sustainable option, right? Well, no. The the term “naturally degradable” is a misstatement.

Lots Of if not the majority of those “naturally degradable” plates and utensils offered as sustainable options to single-use plastic aren’t truly compostable or recyclable. The concept behind bio-plastic items is that they’re expected to break down. However honestly, they just break down in an extremely high heat commercial composting center. For us routine individuals with yard garden compost bins, these plates and utensils will not break down.

If these items wind up in a lake, river or ocean, they’re generally the like plastic. What’s more, if you do put items identified naturally degradable or compostable into the recycle bin, they will not be recycled due to the fact that they aren’t recyclable.

Recyclable products belong to a complicated international market that is affected by pollutants in the items and market need. While corporations are accountable for creating these single usage items indicated to be tossed, everyone are spending for these “benefits” both economically and ecologically. As customers, we have the power to make much better options about our purchases due to the fact that eventually, this non reusable, single usage way of life is unsustainable.

.