Monday, December 7, 2009

Nicholas Kristof has another column about Plastic in the NY Times

I haven't had a lot of blog posts here recently. Hopefully that'll change soon. In the meantime, please read Nicholas Kristof's column in the New York Times. A pertinent excerpt:

I asked these doctors what they do in their own homes to reduce risks. They said that they avoid microwaving food in plastic or putting plastics in the dishwasher, because heat may cause chemicals to leach out. And the symposium handed out a reminder card listing “safer plastics” as those marked (usually at the bottom of a container) 1, 2, 4 or 5.

It suggests that the “plastics to avoid” are those numbered 3, 6 and 7 (unless they are also marked “BPA-free”). Yes, the evidence is uncertain, but my weekend project is to go through containers in our house and toss out 3’s, 6’s and 7’s.


Gina said...

Hi Juli,

We are screening the film Garbage Dreams at the Queens Botanical Garden next week. Thought you might be interested in attending or posting it to your blog.

A Compost Movie and Discussion Night: Garbage Dreams
Thursday, January 14th, 7pm
Fee: $5/person

Join the Queens Compost Project for a screening of the film Garbage Dreams with a short discussion of waste issues to follow. Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village on the outskirts of Cairo. It is the home to 60,000 Zabaleen, Arabic for “garbage people.” Far ahead of any modern “Green” initiatives, the Zabaleen survive by recycling 80 percent of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.

Screening will take place in the Queens Botanical Garden auditorium; entrance is on Dahlia Avenue, through after-hours gate behind the Visitor and Administration building.


Layla said...

I worry about the plastics too - some of ours are even unlabelled!!

Not sure how 'eco' it is to just 'toss' the potentially problematic stuff though??

Isn't it better to use for non food-related purposes (eg as containers for knick-knacks or tools or such?)
Or see if they can be recycled anywhere?

And to just have this on a leaflet or 'cheat sheet' of what not to buy at the shop next time!!

Juli said...

Layla- re-using and finding other uses for anything, including plastic containers, is the absolute best option! It keeps the item from a landfill or from polluting the environment, and it doesn't require the energy and labor of recycling it into something else. That is why the waste heirarchy is:


Layla said...

lol I know! :)

It's even in the official EU waste management strategy!!

Maybe someone needs to tell Mr Nicholas Kristof? :)

(I love his article otherwise! Finally someone who dares to write about these things in 'official' newspapers too!!)