Have you ever tried to determine if a plastic item is recyclable? I have 20/20 vision for reading, but often the recycling symbol and corresponding number is so small I could use the help of a magnifying glass to read the number in the logo. On other plastic items like lids there is often no number on it whatsoever. Why not?
The conspiracy theorist in me sometimes wonders this is purposeful so people give up trying and throw the items away instead of bothering to recycle them. I sincerely hope this is not the case.
If a product is recyclable then it should be celebrated, not hidden in some far-off corner, written in hieroglyphics, or printed so small or lightly that you cannot tell whether is is a 5 or 6. C’mon plastic producers and molders, there has to be a way to create clearer, larger, more readable, and more uniform logos on your products to help promote the recycling.
- Today, 80 percent of Americans have access to a plastics recycling program.
- More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008.
- In 2007, more than 325 million pounds of wide-mouth plastic containers such as yogurt cups and butter containers were recycled.
- In recent years, the number of U.S. plastics recycling businesses has nearly tripled. Today, more than 1,600 businesses are involved in recycling post-consumer plastics.
- Plastics in the U.S. are made primarily (70%) from domestic natural gas.
- Recycling one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
- During Keep America Beautiful’s 2008 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 189,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.
Hopefully, everyone will keep up the good work and more readable recycling labels will increase participation in plastic recycling programs across the country and around the globe. By reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign petroleum products and reducing the waste stream going into our landfills, recycling is one of the most patriotic things you can do. Remember the R’s of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Now, if we can just get rid of those annoying plastic bags.