The Dilemma !

As you all know here at Fun With Soap, we take the environment seriously. I’m very passionate about looking after our rivers and oceans so I want to extend that to our clients.

“Plastic is everywhere: Plastic is a need in modern life. Humanity has generated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since it became a mass-made product in the early 1950s. However, the related difficulties have now become all too obvious. Newspapers, television documentaries, and social media frequently feature frightening images and reports about plastic garbage. The root of the problem is that many countries poorly collect and recycle waste, and citizens are uninformed that rubbish has no place in nature. Most varieties of plastic, on the other hand, take hundreds of years to biodegrade. This emphasizes the importance of having a functional waste and recycling management system for plastic products.

The dilemma is the following: We package some of our products in plastic. We would love to package in glass but this makes parcels heavier and fragile which means we still have to bubble wrap the glass. The heavier the parcel the more fuel is used for transport and it increases carbon omissions. And…. the list goes on and on.

However !

It’s Never too late !

Lets Educate ourselves ! Did you know that each plastic bottle in your cupboard has a recycling code which will help you the consumer make better choices on which products you buy that are packaged in plastic and which plastic are reusable and well suited for recycling?

“The well-known “chasing arrows” sign found on plastic containers and items does not indicate that the item is recyclable. The real tale is told by the small number inside the triangle.
There is a number ranging from one to seven within each chasing arrows triangle. The number identifies the type of plastic used in the product, and not all plastics are recyclable or even reusable. There are several plastic-based goods that cannot be recycled or broken down.

Understanding the seven plastic codes will make selecting plastics and determining which plastics to recycle much easier. Water bottles with a three or a five on them, for example, cannot be recycled in most US counties. A three denotes that the water bottle is made of polyvinyl chloride, while a five indicates that it is constructed of polypropylene, both of which are not recognized by most public recycling centers.

The seven basic plastic classes are listed here, along with recycling and reuse information for each.

1.

#1 – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

PET is one of the most widely used plastics in consumer goods, appearing in most water and soda bottles, as well as certain packaging. It’s designed for one-time use; reusing it raises the risk of leaching and bacterial growth. Decontamination of PET plastic is difficult, and proper cleaning necessitates the use of hazardous chemicals. Carcinogens may seep from polyethylene terephthalates.

Products made of #1 (PET) plastic should be recycled but not reused.

2.

#2 – HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)

Milk jugs, soap and oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags are all made from HDPE plastic. HDPE is the most often recycled plastic and is regarded to be one of the safest. HDPE plastic recycling for subsequent usage is a reasonably easy and cost-effective procedure.
HDPE plastic is extremely durable and does not degrade when exposed to sunlight or extremes of heat or cold.

Products made of HDPE are reusable and recyclable.

3.

#3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

PVC is a soft, flexible plastic that is used to manufacture clear plastic food wrapping, cooking oil bottles, teething rings, toys for children and pets, and blister packaging for a variety of consumer products. It’s commonly utilized as a wrapping material for computer cables and in the manufacture of plastic pipes and plumbing equipment. PVC is used to create window frames, garden hoses, arbors, raised beds, and trellises since it is somewhat resistant to sunshine and weather. Also poisonous to the environment.

PVC products should not be reused for applications with food or for children’s use.

4.

#4 – LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)

Shrink wraps, dry cleaner clothing bags, squeezable bottles, and the type of plastic bags used to package bread are all examples of LDPE. LDPE plastic is used to make the plastic shopping bags used in most stores today. This type of plastic is also used in some apparel and furniture.

LDPE is less hazardous than other plastics and is regarded quite safe to use. However, it is not widely recycled, however this is improving in many places as more recycling services prepare to accept this material.

Products made using LDPE plastic are reusable, but not always recyclable. You need to check with your local collection service to see if they are accepting LDPE plastic items for recycling.

5.

#5 – PP (Polypropylene)

Polypropylene is a durable and lightweight material with great heat resistance. It functions as a moisture, grease, and chemical barrier. When you try to open a cereal box, the thin plastic liner is polypropylene. This helps to keep your cereal fresh and dry. Disposable diapers, pails, plastic bottle caps, margarine and yogurt containers, potato chip bags, straws, packing tape, and rope are all made of PP.
Landscape border striping, battery cases, brooms, bins, and trays are all made from recycled PP. However, recyclers are increasingly accepting #5 plastic.

Reuse of PP is considered safe. Check with your local curbside program to see whether they are now accepting PP-based items for recycling.

6.

#6 – PS (Polystyrene)

Polystyrene is a versatile plastic that is affordable, lightweight, and easy to make. It’s most commonly seen in disposable styrofoam drinking cups, take-out “clamshell” food containers, egg cartons, plastic picnic cutlery, foam packing, and those ubiquitous “peanut” foam chips used to protect the contents of shipping crates. Polystyrene is also commonly utilized in the manufacturing of stiff foam insulation and underlay sheeting for laminate flooring.

Polystyrene is easily broken up and spread throughout the natural environment since it is structurally weak and ultra-lightweight. Polystyrene fragments wash up on beaches all over the world, and an untold number of marine species have consumed it, suffering irreversible health problems.

Polystyrene should be avoided where possible.

6.

#7 – Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN)

Because the #7 category was created to encompass polycarbonate (PC) and “other” plastics, reuse and recycling procedures are not regulated. The risk for chemical leakage into food or drink goods packaged in polycarbonate containers produced with BPA is the biggest worry with #7 plastics (Bisphenol A). BPA is a known endocrine disruptor and xenoestrogen.

Baby bottles, sippy cups, water cooler bottles, and automotive parts are all made of number 7 plastic. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic food containers, which are frequently labeled with the initials “PC” on the bottom by the recycling label #7.

Although some polycarbonate water bottles are labeled as “non-leaching” to reduce plastic taste and odor, trace levels of BPA may still migrate from these containers, especially if they are used to heat liquids.

To replace polycarbonates, a new generation of biodegradable plastics produced from bio-based polymers like corn starch is being developed. These are also included in category #7, which might lead to consumer confusion. The initials “PLA” appear near the recycling symbol on the bottom of these compostable plastics. “Compostable,” some might add.

Unless they carry the PLA biodegradable marking, #7 plastics should not be reused. Avoid #7 plastics whenever feasible, especially for food for children. BPA-free plastics with the recycling labels #1, #2, and #4 on the bottom are a better alternative. PLA biodegradable plastics should be thrown in the compost bin rather than the recycling bin because they are not recyclable.