The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Monthly Archives: November 2007

November 4, 2007

Week 20 Results: 22.1 oz of plastic

No, it’s not my Halloween costume. Any guesses? Read on. Here’s the weekly tally:

Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began: 5 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).

1 pump sprayer cap from a bottle of Formula 409 all-purpose cleaner. See below.

1 cap from a bottle of Act fluoride rinse. See below.

1 cap from a bottle of dried onions. See below.

5 pieces of plastic from various iPod accessories packages. I’m forever discovering little plastic goodies while cleaning.

1 plastic liner from a queen-size mattress cover. This thing had gotten all ripped up, so I just decided it was time to stop sleeping on plastic and removed the lining from the cover. It’s a pretty heavy hunk of plastic.

Recyclable items used up this week but bought before the project began: 32-oz bottle of Formula 409 all-purpose cleaner (#2 plastic). As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve… Read the rest

November 2, 2007

Hidden Plastic

A lot of plastic hides in objects that many people don’t realize contain plastic: plastic that coats and lines cartons and cans and caps and lids. Plastic that can’t be separated from the material it’s attached to. Here’s a rundown of some of them.

Paper milk cartons are lined with two layers of polyethylene, inside and out. Many people are under the mistaken belief that these cartons are waxed. In fact, although the original paperboard milk cartons were coated with paraffin wax, they haven’t contained wax since the 40’s when polyethylene became the waterproofing material of choice.

Here is a diagram of how they are made, directly from Elopak’s web site.

The point is that if it’s made from paper these days, and it holds liquids, it’s generally going to be coated with plastic. As far as I know, there’s no ice cream container that’s not coated with a petroleum-based plastic,… Read the rest