Plastic Waste Recycling

It has been reported that some councils are no longer going to take plastic waste for recycling and ask people to put it in the black general rubbish bins. This is because mountains of plastic is being dumped overseas. The councils in question have waste to energy plants, so they say it’s better to go there, although of course there are pollution concerns with these incinerators (air pollutants, CO2).

So what can we do about plastic waste, buy less plastic and reuse it? To make a big difference the manufacturers and retailers need to reduce plastic packaging but this has to be weighed up against preserving food and protecting goods. Hopefully scientists will come up with biodegradable alternatives. As a start I’d like to see all supermarkets providing paper bags for loose fruit and vegetables.

I reuse packaging as much as possible and have considered other ways of plastic reuse:

  • ¬†use plastic pots to make plant pots or paint them for decorative dishes. This I have done using old glass paints, read about it here.Two recycled plastic pots with abstract paintings
  • the rubber ball in roller deodorants make good cat toys!
  • use clean empty lidded pots to keep left overs in the fridge or freezer eg. salad pots, margarine tubs. Good for reducing food waste too.
  • the backing to my new stickers are sadly not recyclable but could be hole punched and used to make a sticker book. Alternatively these coated backing papers are apparently good for transferring images, printed with an inkjet printer, onto wood. This sounds cool, might have to try it out sometime!

Do you know of any other inventive ways to reuse plastic?