Coop Plastic Recycling Changes

The Food Coop's plastic recycling program has recently changed their policies. Unfortunately, the current economic climate has had a negative effect on the market for recycling, and the Recycling Committee can no longer collect #2 and #4 plastic containers.

Currently, the recycling program accepts the following plastics (must be CLEAN and DRY!):
  • #1 transparent plastics (Labels OK. Mouth is wide or wider than the body, meaning NOT bottles.)

  • #5 plastic tubs, cups & specifically marked lids and caps. Must be especially clean and dry. (Discard any with paper labels, or cut the labels off.)

  • Plastic film and bubble wrap. 100% transparent only -- must be able to see through the plastic. No colored or opaque. No paper labels. Minimal writing OK.
For more information, see the plastic recycling page on the Coop's website.

Image from mag3737's Flickr pool.


Franklin said…
The criteria for acceptable film should be expanded and made more specific.

"Minimal" writing is too open to interpretation. From my experience last week, the standard appears to be closer to "no writing" than "minimal" writing.

If you the Committee can't describe it more precisely, maybe some illustrative pictures would help. Someone could take pictures of rejected film at the next collection and post them here.

I understand this is difficult to do and appreciate the Committee's efforts, but more guidance on plastic film would really be useful.
Maura Smale said…
Hi Franklin, thanks for your comment -- we (the Environmental Committee) will pass it on to the Recycling Committee. I'm sure that once the Recycling Committee has had a chance to publish new flyers the guideline will be clearer. And I'll suggest taking photos too -- if we get some we'd be happy to post them on our blog (from readers, too, so please feel free to send any along if you have them!).
Unknown said…
Hey eco peeps,

Question: Is the co-op researching different vendors for plastics recycling?

I know we are in a recession and all, but it's hard for me to believe that there are no other options other than to scale back.

I'm currently saving my plastics in the basement in hopes of a change in recycling policy sooner or later. I've been thinking of making a photo essay of how many garbage bags full of this stuff we'll acquire before having an outlet to recycle it! Ha. Hopefully it won't come to that. I believe we can do better!
Maura Smale said…
Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. I'm not sure whether the Recycling Committee is researching options for other plastics recycling. I will pass along this question to them and post their response when it comes in.

The Environmental Committee will be tabling for Earth Day outside of the Coop tomorrow, Sunday, April 19th, from 9am-3pm. Representatives from our sister committees including Recycling will be on hand as well, so feel free to swing by and ask them in person tomorrow, too!