10 DIY Creative Ways to Reuse / Recycle Plastic Bottles part 1
Reduce Reuse Recycle: Your Plastic Water Bottles
Flip over a plastic bottle and there it is: the little triangle with the number in the middle. That digit means a lot--whether it goes in your green bin, how safe it is, and what's in store for it down the recycling road. Your municipality has the last word on what goes curbside, but we'll help you interpret those triangular tattoos:
Bin it (frequently recycled)
#1 PET or PETE - Polyethylene terephthalate
PET is found in bottles that hold things like beer and other beverages, detergent, and salad dressing. It can be recycled into carpeting and fleece. Patagonia was the first outdoor-clothing manufacturer to use recycled soda bottles to make fleece duds: Over 13 years, the company has diverted 86 million bottles from landfills, conserving enough resources to fill the 39-gallon gas tank of a Chevy Suburban more than 20,000 times!
#2 HDPE - High density polyethylene
You'll find #2 in the loo, in bottles holding bleach, nail polish remover, and shampoo; it's also in grocery bags and some butter and yogurt cups. It can be turned into sexy stuff like plastic crates and picnic tables. Many curbside services won't take big-mouthed containers like the butter tubs; check with your municipality. If it doesn't take them, you can always store your leftovers in them. (That way, you get built-in portion control. Easy!)
Bin denied (rarely sent curbside)
#3 PVC - Polyvinyl chloride
The manufacture, use, and disposal of PVC may release phthalates, a suspected endocrine disrupter, and dioxin, a known carcinogen. It's in shower curtains, flooring, and faux-leather clothing. Locate takers at earth911.org.
#4 LDPE - Low density polyethylene
It's in the bags: specifically, bread, produce, newspaper, and dry-cleaning. Many retailers accept all kinds; they're recycled into trash-can liners and compost bins.
#5 PP - Polypropylene
Used in making takeout containers, medicine bottles, baby bottles, straws, and bottle caps. PP gets new life in the form of bicycle racks, brooms, and ice scrapers.
#6 PS - Polystyrene
PS is suspected of releasing the chemical styrene, a possible carcinogen and endocrine disrupter. It's in egg cartons, picnicware, and packing-foam peanuts. Recycle shipping foam at epspackaging.org, peanuts at loosefillpackaging.com.
#7 Other…and all the rest of the plastic party
Three- and five-gallon water jugs, oven-baking bags, corn-based plastics, and polycarbonate. PC products such as certain baby bottles and sports bottles might leach bisphenol A, an artificial estrogen that may mess with hormone function.
Video: Please Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Pastic Water Bottles!
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