Not all plastic can be recycled  

Posted by Kamelia

It's been more than a month since I've started my internship. My job description is to pretty much do anything anyone tells me too. And I have been blessed to work alongside some pretty cool and talented people. The bulk of work however, is to do research and relay the information to the creative department. Recently, it's been a lot about plastic. And I found some really shocking information that I should share with everyone.

I'm sure this symbol is pretty familiar to you.

Did you know that plastic containers with this symbol isn't necessarily recyclable? If you look closely, you might see a number in the middle of this symbol. It could range anywhere from 1 to 7. Here's the thing. Only plastic with the numbers 1 to 2 are recycled. *gasp*

The numbers are stamped in order to identify the resin that was used to make the plastic container. The resin is just one of many ingredients to make plastic. But it's basically the resin that makes the plastic, well, plastic. Now, although resins with the numbers 3 to 7 are technically recyclable, they are much too expensive to be recycled, and manufacturers instead use virgin materials that are cheaper.

More consumers in the US and UK are catching up to this deception, and have asked manufacturers to remove the "chasing arrows" symbol, as it was misleading. I'm not sure what is the case in Malaysia yet. But a quick check on my water bottles tells me it's a number 4 (gasp!) but without the chasing arrows symbol. Check your plastic containers now, and see whether it's recyclable.

I know the government went on a campaign not too long ago to encourage recycling. But I thought it was severely unsucessful for one thing. They didn't target households, where there was the most waste, nor what to do with the stuff you collected to recycle.

From my home, there's a recycling collection centre nearby that we visit every month to dispose of our paper. And after this, I'm going to include plastic too. And for those avid milk drinkers out there, or those who buys a lot of beverages in cartons, take note. Those cartons are being bought by Alam Flora to be recycled after a singing of contract with Tetra Pak.

Another way is to also visit your local council, and get the directory for companies which recycle stuff. Everything from old batteries to computers and refrigerators. These directories are free. Or, you can always refer to here.

More to come as soon as the campaign we are working on is out.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .



Hey Kami..

At least you're lucky that you JD *is* what you're doing.

I got cheated into my internship position. :p will tell you about it someday.

Anyways, I found out about the number and chasing arrows thingy a few months ago and I've been quite anal about that ever since.

Funny what 'knowledge' can do to you :)

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