25.1.07

Satan's Resin

Glass & Plastic

I know that we earth lovers are into recycling, and this is a noble pursuit.

But, reading Garbageland, Cradle to Cradle, and Living Downstream, (all by scientists or science journalists) I now understand our dilemma. We consumers cannot safely use plastic. There are a very few exceptions, but it takes rocket science to figure it out.

Short of reading all three books to get the scoop, you can think of it like this...

- plastic is often burned in incinerators (a big no no... let's out lots of toxins into the air)

- most plastic is not truly recyclable (even the ones we "recycle" because they have the right numbers). It is "down-cycled" and eventually gets trashed anyhow (a big no no, let's out lots of toxins into the ground water)

- many plastics are suspects in cancer development (so why are plastic water bottles still made with antimony, a heavy metal that leaches into the liquid inside?)

What to do? Here's my new glass pitcher, from Bed Bath and Beyond, for $7. I'm trying to avoid buying anything in plastic, especially liquids. I got my new glass food storage containers for Christmas, and am re-using many glass jars.

And I'm blogging about it so the plastic makers of the world can come up with a new, safer solution.

Photo by L.L. Barkat. "Satan's Resin" is a chapter title in Garbageland.

12 Comments:

Blogger Christianne said...

Bravo! Don Colbert, in his new book Seven Pillars of Health (put out by Siloam earlier this month and proofed by yours truly), has a whole section in the water pillar about plasticizers and how bad they are for us. He also strongly recommends that people stop drinking from plastic bottles and drink from glass bottles instead. The thing is, you never find bottled water in glass bottles at the grocery store. At least, I don't. Do you?

8:34 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Good information, L.L. Now if you'll excuse me I'll throw out all my plastic!!

8:50 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Christianne... maybe "yours truly" should send "mine truly" a review copy ;-) Sounds like a good read.

Andrea... oh, I know. There's that sense of waste that's terribly ironic.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Haddock said...

I remember reading a few years ago about a group of scientists in Switzerland who never ate or drank anything that has been stored in plastic as the toxins leach into the food and water.

Lucky for me beer still comes in glass bottles! :)

11:20 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Haddock... so, what I'm thinking is, when are those scientists going to put their heads together to come up with a safe alternative?

In the meantime, the burden is on us to live plastic-free. And that is a challenge indeed.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Green Earth said...

Pleased you are getting the word out about plastics.

I use a metal drinking bottle from the camping store to carry my drinking water and always buy and store in glass.

Leakage from soft plastics entering our food and it's relationship to contemporary health issues is discussed indepth in Prof Jane Plant's book `Your Life in Your Hands'.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Good information. I had heard that the plastic bottles water comes in should not be "reused" because of the toxin leach. I always wondered about any leaching on the first use. I have SO much plastic in my kitchen. Baby steps, I guess.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

L.L.
I happened to be at BB and B today and bought the same pitcher--per your recommend. I always had an uneasy feeling storing our cold water in the plastic container in the fridge...
I also recycled the old plastic container.....:/

5:03 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Charity: I've heard (from the same Dr. Colbert I mentioned in my first comment) that plastic bottles on first use should be "okay" so long as used within 2-3 months of the bottling date. Only, as LL has shown, that still isn't as good as using glass. Ew, all the burning of the plastic just to make the plastic. This really can't be good for us. Is it possible to survive these days without it?

9:23 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Green Earth... thanks for the book tip. I'll go check it out!

Charity... absolutely. There is initial leach too. Go Green Earth's way.

Andrea... Wonderful! You are a quick adjuster. I probably should have told you I use two of those pitchers. We drink the water so fast.

Christianne... you resurface the other important point. Even if we don't re-use the plastic, we've used it, and it goes "somewhere." When that somewhere is either to the recycler or the garbage incinerator or the landfill (or my sidewalk... thanks, Litterbug), we still face the toxic effect.

To live without it? I believe this entails lifestyle changes and rethinking some things (I feel a post coming on!)

9:46 AM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Yes, I would LOVE to hear you blog about life changes and your experiences with them. I am positive you have a million little instances to share about what it's really like.

7:07 PM  
Blogger tiggerprr said...

Interesting information! Scary too!

12:11 PM  

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