What do I do with the plastic?

What do I do with the plastic?

I had a small fit earlier this week and decided, after mulling it for a long time, that I have to get rid of all my plastic food containers. Even though they’re #5 plastic, which from what I can find on the internets, aren’t leaking bisphenols into my food — but how do we really know? They said those hard, clear, polycarbonates were better than the softer plastics, and now look what they’re finding out. So I had one of those moments on Monday where I decided they were all bad,  I cleaned out the drawer where they lived, and scoured my cupboards for all the small ceramic and glass containers that I already have — and then I went on eBay and ordered a bunch of old pyrex refrigerator dishes with glass lids. They weren’t exactly cheap (especially when you take shipping into account — they’re both heavy and breakable), but they’ve already lasted 30 or 40 years out there in the universe, they’re nice looking, and they’re made from materials that we know to be absolutely inert.

But the question is, what do I do with the shopping bag full of old plastic containers (there are some new ones in there too, still in their wrappers). It seems a waste to throw them out, but if I really do think they’re toxic, is it right to take them to our community thrift shop?

What do you all think? Let me know in the comments …

4 thoughts on “What do I do with the plastic?

  1. Portland, OR, has a plastics roundup a couple of times a year to collect all the stuff that isn’t accepted at the curb or recycling center. I’m going to be bringing my Nalgene bottles, as well as miscellaneous other plastics I’ve let stack up on top of the fridge. If you can’t find a similar option nearby, you’re welcome to mail them to me. Not an ideal solution, but if it appeals to you, let me know.


  2. Well doh! As Homer would say — I guess I could drive across town and see what plastics they take in the recycling bins — I need to do a newspaper run anyhow. Our recycling is so … what should I say … minimal? (Unreliable? I’m not entirely sure that what we stuff in the bins actually does get recycled.) But we do have bins …

  3. Hi Charlotte-

    Only #1’s and #2’s are accepted at the recycling center here in Livingston… at least last time I was there. You will find slightly different variations of what’s acceptable at different locations in Bozeman, though typically no better than here. Most want only plastic bottles with necks, although I think our local place may not require the be neck-only at the moment, and often they will say “milk jugs only” rather than all #2’s.

    I’ve never known of anywhere in Montana where any plastic other than #1 or #2 is accepted. My general rule of thumb has been if it’s not a #1, it’s usually tough to recycle (and only a few years ago did recycling any plastic become an option).

    It’s a shame… I understand that transportation costs is the obvious culprit– but we were just in Fernie B.C. last week, a very small, isolated town- and they had recycling stations everywhere. I’m not sure if #5 plastics were part of the program, but it was certainly far easier to dump our bottles and cans on the road in an unfamiliar town than it is to do so in our own hometown!

    At the very least– kudos to the folks on the recycling committee in Livingston for trying to get something going– and at least save the glass recycling program.

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