Since it can be very hard to completely eliminate plastics, it is very important to recycle and re-use what plastics you get. Each year, billions of plastic items are disposed of, but only a small portion of that is actually recycled. That is highly unfortunate because so much of it ends up in the environment, including the Pacific Garbage patch, which is a huge section of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California that carries massive amounts of plastic that is slowly broken down and eaten by fish and birds.
There are plastic numbers on most plastics, and this can give you a clear indication of what you can re-use and what you can recycle. Here are the numbers and what you can do with them:
- This number is on most water and pop bottles and some packaging. It is hard to de-contaminate, and cleaning can lead to the release of harmful chemicals, including some carcinogens. DO NOT REUSE, RECYCLE THIS.
- This number is on milk jugs, detergent jugs, oil bottles, plastic bags and toys. It is one of the safest forms of plastic and it can be re-used. Be sure to re-use this before you recycle it.
- This number is found in food wraps, food oil bottles, teething rings, pet toys and more. This does produce toxins from manufacturing to disposal. Do not use this in the microwave and DO NOT REUSE, RECYCLE IT.
- This number is found in shrink wraps, squeezable bottles and plastic bags. It is less toxic and can be re-used before being recycled.
- This number is in bottle tops, disposable diapers, carpeting, food bags, yogurt and margarine containers. It is one of the safest plastics and it can be re-used before being recycled.
- This number is on plastic cutlery and foam packaging. Chemicals can leach into food products. DO NOT USE AT ALL. FIND ALTERNATIVES.
- This number is used on layered and mixed plastics and cannot be re-used, so recycle when done with it.
A good blog friend of ours, Wandering Coyote, will feature odd searches through Google and other search engines that bring up her site. They can be pretty funny, so here are two searches two people did that brought up our site:
- "5 pictures showing how a place has changed over the course of several years"
- "is it a deer or cow foot print"