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Cut Back on Plastics

Eleanor McCloskey, for JPIC

Recently, at our residence, we had a presentation about plastics. Carl Duivenvoorden is a devoted environmentalist, the first Canadian volunteer to be trained by Al Gore. Carl has a special gift for speaking clearly on serious issues, in positive nonjudgmental or threatening ways. And he lives his message. Carl came with show-and-tell containers and materials, and facts.

  • At our local landfill, plastics in the “blue box,” sent for recycling, are sorted by hand, according to the numbers (1-7) that indicate their composition.
  • By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
  • It takes 50 years for a styrofoam cup (#6) to decompose.

We ask: “What can we do in our dependency on plastic products?”

Responses: Use fewer polyester fabrics. Cut back on single use plastics. Avoid plastics marked #7. Grocery bags and milk bags (#4) are reusable and mostly recyclable.

Some places (like Bulk Barn) allow us to bring our own container.

Use cloth bags. Speak-up about excess packaging. Customers can effect change.

It’s encouraging to know that currently, in Canada, at least three companies are working with new recycling technologies. (CBC, March 25).


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