Monday, June 23, 2008

Trip the Plastic Fantastic

I just got home (OK, just may not be accurate - I've been home since around Noon) from my annual trip to Ohio, where I camp, vend the various junk I make, perform with my band, and lead a few workshops.

It's a cool way to spend a week, if a touch (a LOT!!) exhausting. This year, I didn't have the Evil Genius with me, and while I missed him, I was also quite glad he wasn't there. I had too much to do to have a little guy to worry about!

One of the neat things about this community that comes together every year is the way everyone is so focused on community well being, from helping neighbors put up, stake down, and cover over tents to watching each others kids. Hungry? no problem, we have plenty of extra to feed you! Cold? I have an extra blanket, or you may crawl in with me for a snooze! Thirsty? I have gallons of water to drink! It's community wide, and it's a beautiful thing.

Another neat thing is the trash/recycling truck. It's an old RV with the top half cut off, hauled behind a pickup truck. They have bins for non-recyclable trash, as well as recyclables. Cans, bottle, compost, the lot.

Something that puzzled me about the recycling was the plastic bottles. They accepted the bottles, but not the caps. Why? Is it simply that they're different kinds of plastic? In fact, they only recycled numbers one and two plastics, leaving the rest for the trash.

I have recently learned that recycling plastic isn't at all cost effective. It seems that the cost of recycling plastic bags is prohibitive - there's no money to be made in it, and I doubt anyone will do it out of altruism...yet. Several countries have even outlawed the use of plastic bags, they're so destructive and such a danger to the local wildlife.

Do you recycle? Is there a recycling center in your community? Do you reuse plastic bags? Toss them? What's the alternative to plastic bottles, bags, jars, and other containers? Is the alternative any better than the plastic it would replace?


Bellagio said...

Plastic recycling rules:
Big money can be made from recycling plastic grocery bags as long as those 2 conditions are met.
Caps on water bottles(PET bottle) do not need to be removed. All caps will float in the water while PET sinks. Separation by density.

Kyddryn said...

Cheers for the info, Bellagio! I'm always up for a bit of education. Welcome to Mainstream Green!

Kit said...

Ditching plastic shopping bags is one of my ongoing struggles right now. I have several wonderful reusable bags, but I never seem to have them with me when I am standing in a checkout line with a cart full of groceries. I ALWAYS forget the dang things. Partly I am just frazzled like that, and partly they keep disappearing, roped into various other tote duties (like carrying towels and sunscreen to the pool). I am trying, TRYING to do better. I'll get there.

Oh, and I do reuse the ones I have, at least- they are for toting wet or soiled cloth diapers home to be washed. Then, I recycle them (they aren't too gross).