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3 Reasons Why That Plastic Container Might Not Be So Recyclable

Have you ever thrown a plastic food container in the recycling bin, feeling great that you just gave that plastic a future life as a water bottle, or medical device, or children’s toy? The truth is, most recyclable materials don’t even make it to the recycling center. Only 9% of plastic actually makes it full circle to the recycling plant. Here are some reasons that could keep your recycling efforts stifled:

  1. Dark colored plastic (black, brown, blue), just like that to-go container you might have gotten from your “fast-casual” lunch the other day, actually contaminates the coveted clear plastic that is much more useful in it’s second life.
  2. Plastic containers used for food are not recycled properly if they are not cleaned off before going to the blue bin. Yes, the recycling centers have large industrial washers that get some food scraps out, but at the end of the day, it causes major cost increases and headaches for recycling companies that prefer to use clean plastic from other industries. The severely soiled plastic eventually gets sorted out and sent to a landfill. Poorly managed landfills usually end up washing trash right into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. When considering alternatives, compostable containers are a great choice given that everything can go right into the green compost bin, food + containers.
  3. China and other Asian countries (the lion’s share of plastic scrap demand) effectively cut off foreign countries from dumping their waste at Chinese and Asian ports. Most recently, the Philippines sent back 26 shipping containers full of mislabeled, rotting waste. This move by Asian countries to stop foreigners from sending their waste for recycling is big. Do they have a right to refuse the waste? Yes. Is it the responsibility for foreign entities to correctly label their waste and transport properly, also yes.

eco-pliant knows that all of these factors can result in a lot of hearsay and confusion, which is why we want to make transitioning to a more sustainable business operation as easy as possible. Choose compostable. It’s the simple way to do the right thing, and your customers will love you for it. eco-pliant vets each and every product we sell to our customers, making sure it’s certified compostable.

If you have any questions regarding this post or any of eco-pliant’s products, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].



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