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Guest Opinion: Bad news — most plastics aren't recyclable

Original post made on Sep 11, 2023

Most plastic is not getting recycled, and that little triangular "chasing arrows" symbol on the bottoms of plastic containers doesn't mean what you think it does.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, September 10, 2023, 3:23 PM

Comments (4)

Posted by Joe V
a resident of Birdland
on Sep 11, 2023 at 12:29 pm

Joe V is a registered user.

Relying on the conscious of consumers to address this environment hazard has not worked and will never work. We do know what the solution is, addressing it with the industries that create plastics, and the ones that use plastics.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 11, 2023 at 9:17 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I produced (manufactured) 50 million pounds of Polymer (plastic) every year for 20 years. After multiple processes, and chemical additions, that Polymer was later extruded, stretched, and coated to make medical X-ray films.

After refining, every ten pounds of medical X-ray film provided one troy ounce of silver. Some of that remaining plastic went into landfills. Some of it was repurposed into new plastic commodities.

The process of reacting Monomer to produce Polymer, extrusion coatings, and winding it into 16,000-foot rolls created tons of plastic waste, which went into landfills.

Digital technology was introduced to replace plastic films in the 90's. 2017-2020 refineries were still refining plastic X-ray films at a rate of well over one million pounds per year.

Third-world countries still use plastic films, China is in the process of transitioning to digital technology.

Posted by Kumbaya
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 11, 2023 at 10:50 pm

Kumbaya is a registered user.

Thank you for your article. Many of us want to reduce plastic use but don’t know how to. Everything from the store is contained in plastic, and lately there is more usage of plastic tubs instead of just bags. It’s like the companies are doubling down on their plastic usage! We try to save them for reuse but how many plastic tubs does one realistically need? We need more companies that sell products in bulk, so people could bring their own containers to be refilled instead of buying new ones.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 13, 2023 at 7:23 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Plastic packaging is not going away.
Why? Weight.
Plastic is much lighter than glass.

Food producers added Billions to their coffers when they switched from glass to plastic packaging. When Plastic manufacturers increase their price of raw material (PET), food producers decrease the thickness, (weight) of their package.

Example: A plastic jar of mayonnaises twenty years ago was 0.9763 thick. Today it is 0.010 to 0.035 thick with room to get thinner. Bottles of drinking water today are 0.010 thick. Notice when you grasp a bottle of water it tends to collapse?

Steel can package was invented in 1810 and eventually used to store mustard, ketchup, etc. Before that, animal skin, leaves, coconut shells, etc., were used for food storage.

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