In conversation with our local BOWEN WASTE SERVICE we have learned that as much as 30% of collected plastic recycleables will be rejected for recycling and will end up being incinerated instead. Also, we are hearing stories of ships carrying baled plastics for recyling being turned away by China (fair enough!) and cruising the seas looking to pay a country willing to take the load...often ending up where there are inadequate facilities. Plastics in the ocean, in the land, despite our efforts here at home to dutifully recycle.
What to do.
We are working with Bowen Waste to switch all of our take away packaging to COMPOSTABLE material.
All our take away packaging goes into the FOOD WASTE STREAM...NOT RECYCLING.
Here's an example:
What is PLA?
Polylactic acid is derived from plants, a renewable resource, and it is used as a natural substitute for petroleum-based plastics and polyester products.
In the proper environment, PLA materials degrade naturally over time, making these products an environmentally responsible and practical choice for a number of applications, including medical and packaging requirements. PLA warps and degrades more quickly when exposed to excessive heat or humidity, which presents significant obstacles to using PLA in certain applications.
When pure PLA is exposed to excessive heat or moisture, or as a natural process over time, the polymer chains that make up the substance begin to break down.
This creates ever smaller polymer chains. The result of this process is lactic acid, which is a naturally occurring nutrient that is also found in milk. Lactic acid is completely bio-degradable, and it poses no threat to local wildlife or water supplies. As lactic acid breaks down in the environment, it produces carbon dioxide, water, and stable organic matter used to form humus and topsoil.