What’s Your Number?
By: Stephanie Benney
Ahh, it’s weekly shopping trip time. “Let’s see, do I have my list with me? Did I forget to write anything down? Shampoo, facial bar, Kleenex, laundry detergent and K cups for my Keurig – all checked off of the list. Ok, now onto the produce”. If you are like many other women, the first few sentences were like a playback of your inner dialogue every time you walk into a Target or Whole Foods. Many of us carefully select products that are more eco-friendly, while there are still some of us who really don’t care(shame on you). Whatever your stance, you should care about the safety aspect of the packaging or product. Many plastics are hazardous and emit dangerous toxins.
Water bottles, milk containers, plastic bags, jars – things we recycle on a daily basis. It’s amazing that when you are truly “awake” and conscious of what you use and the packaging that houses it, you begin to realize just how much you can recycle. For example, Americans generate more than 10.5 million tons of plastic waste each year, and they only recycle 2% of it. This blatantly says to me that people are throwing away plastic garbage instead of recycling it. Perhaps they aren’t aware of what can be recycled beyond the common single-use water bottle and plastic milk jug.
We all recognize those little triangles with a number inside, located on the bottom of plastic containers; they are recycling codes. However, sometimes it’s still difficult to understand what they mean and what a container or packaging system is comprised of. Some plastics are dangerous to use and you may not even know it. I have found this helpful chart to assist you in deciphering recycling codes, scientific names of plastics, uses, recycling rates and recommendations. I advise you to print this guide and post it above your recycling and garbage bins to help your family with your recycling efforts. It’s definitely helped me break things down.
Stephanie Benney is a “Sustainable Visionary” and also the new Pittsburgh Representative for Fuzed Marketing, where she helps companies increase their brand presence. email@example.com