Friday, August 15, 2008
Traditional Tea Drinkers Shun Dangerous Bottles
By dangerous bottles I refer to those with so-called "recyclable" label # 7' which contain BPA (see link below to a really great article on Boston.com)*.
We here try not to buy or use ANY plastic bottles--just a ceramic or glass cup to use over and over and over again... or a gourd mate to use over and over and over again...
So don't tell me-- "it's okay... because I'm going to throw that pre-packaged, pre-mixed Guayaki bottle into the recycling and all will be well with the world."
Do you know what has to happen to a bottle that actually does make it into the recycling?
First of all it has to get to a recycling plant. Most rural areas which have a separate container for glass are not actually recycling it at all; they are smashing it down to bury as "inert waste" such as concrete or rock. It is only a slight betterment for them legally in that they can claim a higher percentage of "inert material" going into their landfill.
So, say your little Snapple bottle actually gets to a plant for recycling. If it isn't separated into "clear" but has been allowed (usually) to mix with other colors (fun in society, but bad in recycling) it will go to a less valuable pile. In many cases if it has been mixed it won't end up getting recycled at all if the value of mixed material is too low. It might end up as asphalt road bed.
Well; Lucky bottle hops onto a conveyor and a VERRRY strong magnet, with lots of electricity running through it, pulls out all of the (not only steel but) aluminum as well--because a VERRRY strong magnet will really do that!
Then it's on to the ferociously hot natural gas burning incinerator to burn off labels and trash and rubber condoms (I've worked in recycling and now know where the general population's favorite place to cast these off is!)
After burning is crushing--with a giant electric-(thus coal or hydro or nuclear) powered steel crusher which goes at those little ravaged Lipton bottles with its many whirling iron teeth. After crushing of course is hauling, because most recycling plants don't actually make the bottles; they get driven far and wide for making Gallo green, the exclusive Coke green, etc.
Then back to the factory for bottling, for labelling... when all along you could have just heated up a pot of water and thrown in some tea in your good old mate or tea cup.
If you do have your own humble tea cup or gourd you will now be able to sit back and relax thinking of all of the waste and motion you have avoided.
If, like us, you are interested in starting a re-use campaign in the U.S.of A. please send along any good research you may run across regarding getting congress to pass a law.