Another Earth Day is upon us, and for those of us living the Middle East the very origins of this ecological event have much to do a lot with fossil fuel based energy so prevalent in this region. Aside from the frequently discussed issues surrounding the affects of oil and other fossil fuels on the world’ environment, much has been written and talked about the effects of plastic products on the world’s seas and oceans like “islands” of floating plastic material.
While of environmental effects of plastics in the oceans has become more than obvious, more attention needs to be given to common day-to-day plastic containers and other items, including so-called one time use or “throwaway” plastic dishes and silverware.
David de Rothschild’s Plastiki Catamaran was made with recycled plastic drink bottles
Uses for recycled plastic items have been written a lot by Green Prophet, and range anywhere from upscale fashion clothing items to even bridges for cars made out of certain types of recycled plastics.
Aside from the usually mentioned plastic beverage bottles, of which environmentalist David De Rothschild had made into a catamaran sailing craft, most modern households purchase numerous items packaged or enclosed in plastic bottles or containers.
To emphasize this, I took a photograph of some items that came out of my own home (above); these are containers that many people usually throw away afterwards. Some of these common plastic items include yogurt containers, tomato paste and sauce packages, containers for salads and other food items, and even packages for spices and fresh vegetables. A great many such items are thrown into the garbage can daily wind up in a land fill along with other non-organic trash. To say that these items can stay in the ground for hundreds of years is just putting it lightly, as the polymer and Bisphenol A or BPA plastic material that can cause a number of health problems, including gene alterations that can lead to breast and prostate cancers.
Of my plastic packaging samples, the newly shaped yogurt containers are really quite cute and can be “recycled” in one’s home for a variety of uses; including fruit cups and drinking glasses, or used to hold ice cream. The food containers can be used over an over as well and therefore serve other purposes in the home. But if you insist in throwing these items out, at least separate them and dispose them in an outside plastic material recycling container; if one is readily available.
In my area, people bought a lot of disposable plastic dishes and tableware for use during the recent Passover holiday; of which a great deal of it has probably already wound up being thrown into landfills. Much of these disposable plastic items could have been separated and disposed of in plastic material recycle bins, just like plastic food packaging items.
At least in this way, one of the true meanings of going green in your home can be at least partially observed.
More articles about recycling plastic products:
The Origin of Earth Day and the Greening of the Arab Spring
Throwaway Passover Dishes to Fill Landfills
D Grade’s Hipster Trash Clothing is Made Cheap in China
Will Bridges of Recycled Plastic Work in the Middle East?
David De Rothschild Bravely Sails Away to Pacific’s Plastic Island