Can plastic be green?
Plastic is a material which hasn’t received good press over the past few years. It’s fair to say that it is a tough time for companies producing plastic products. It's not necessarily bad news though as a lot of plastic used can be easily recycled and we can work to reduce our use of plastic which isn't so easy to re-use.
Concerns about plastic range from the ever-lasting, indestructible plastic entering oceans, being consumed by fish and other sea creatures and then ending up in our food chain.
Other issues relate to the pollution caused by the burning of plastic to the difficulties of recycling the material itself.
Let’s start by looking at which plastics can be recycled easily. In most countries plastic for recycling is divided into seven categories.
HOW EASY IS IT TO RECYCLE PLASTIC PRODUCTS?
The final category isn’t really a category as it includes combinations of the other plastics or types of plastics which aren’t frequently used. This group is often labeled number 7 or given no category. These can be very difficult to recycle. A few areas may attempt to recycle these types of plastics but, more often than not, they are re-purposed or thrown into the general garbage. Consumers today try to avoid buying this group of plastics.
Obviously, we should try to reduce our use of plastic where possible and especially try to eliminate the use of plastics in number 6 and 7 groups. There are also other things we can do to ensure our use of plastic is less damaging. Cutting out single use plastics is an easy step most people can take. Not buying bottled water or using plastic straws is one way. Considering wood in the home instead of plastic products for flooring and walls will make a difference too. Switching your plastic shampoos and soaps for solid alternatives may help. Bringing your own (paper or cotton) bags when you go shopping is a step in the right direction also buying products in bulk rather than single items.
READ NEXT →