Plastic is a constant in our lives from grocery bags to bottles of water. So much so that plastic has become a major source of pollution.
Representative Jared Huffman has called to reduce plastic production altogether – a sentiment shared by Recology.
“Plastic is a problem in the environment and its getting worse and worse,” general manager Linda Wise said. “So producer responsibility, encouraging legislation and people to support legislation around producer responsibility is gonna be important in the future with plastics so we don’t end up with plastics in the oceans and our farmlands.”
Recycling the material can be quite difficult. There are 48,000 kinds of plastic and not enough resin codes also known as “chasing arrows” – to differentiate them.
“One of the issues that people have in particular with plastics is that there are not good safeguards to keep people from putting chasing arrows onto their containers,” Wise said. “Those chasing arrows that indicate to people recycling might not actually be so.”
Recology will accept plastics with codes numbers one through seven.
But even though plastic cups and take out containers may have a code on them – they’re not recyclable.
“People who are using those products as containers are going to gravitate toward the cheaper container which is gonna be the plastic, so we are going to get more and more of it,” Wise said. “And the only way that we are able to affect change is to educate people to go toward those other container choices.”
Even small changes in buying habits and plastic use can benefit the environment.
“The most important things for us to remember is to vote with our consumer dollars. If we don’t buy plastic, they won’t make it. So try to find alternatives,” Recology spokesperson Robert Reed said. “Look for beverages in aluminum cans or glass bottles. Try to use reusable containers like a reusable water bottle or a reusable coffee mug.”