Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

What’s the big deal with plastic utensils and straws?

Plastic utensils and straws are a problem child for plastic recycling.  In theory, they should be recyclable, but three obstacles stand in the way. First, they are made from a variety of different plastics. Some are commonly recycled (PET–#1 plastic and polypropylene–#5 plastic) and others not (polystyrene–#6 plastic); since they’re not labeled there’s no way to know. Second, their weird shape can jam the sorting machinery at the materials recovery facilities. Finally, even if accepted for recycling (they are not in our region), they are more likely to be shipped to Asia instead of recycled in the United States. The best solution is to stop forking around with plastic and carry reusable or compostable utensils instead.

 

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