This first post focusing on Plastic Recycling is Part 1 of a 2-Part Series on Plastic.  Part 2 will focus on the Health and Safety issues related to plastic, and will be posted here on Alternative Consumer in a few days.

It requires only the power of observation to recognize that the world we’re living in is increasingly plastic. Initially drawn to plastic’s versatile, lightweight and sturdy promises, the euphoric state that accompanies inventions allowed us to glimpse over the fact that due to the very qualities we produced them to have, plastics don’t want to go away. So until biodegradable plastics dominate our industries, Earth will be yearning for us to become better recyclers of the pervasive plastics at hand.

p2pic.jpgWe must first recognize that plastics’ rotating triangular codes, although wearing our beloved recycling symbol’s clothes, mean nothing of the sort. They disclose only their chemical identity, enabling them to be numerically sorted. All plastics are not created equal and with several being virtually impossible to recycle, focusing our eyes on their numbers is vital.

The recycling champions are numbers 1 and 2, easily recycled virtually everywhere. With #3, a rare recycling center is the key. Although recyclable p2pic2.jpgoutside many grocery stores, #4 is a chore as curbside pickup is not yet available. 5 and 6 are rarely recycled so be sure to steer clear whenever feasible. Sinful number 7 is practically impossible to recycle. To obtain more facts, recycling tips and info on each plastic type check out @ earth911.org/plastics/ (Update: link removed)

Meanwhile, twist off bottle lids, rinse containers free of yesterday’s cravings, crush them with all your might, and educate yourself on your local recycling programs before your plastics hit the bin. Above all, rethink how you can reduce your plastic habits and reuse whenever possible.