Zero Waste: plastic

Zero Waste and plastic? That doesn’t go together? Sure, you want to produce as little as possible or no plastic waste at all. There are, however, different types of plastic and a little insight into this may be useful. Just because, like me, you can’t always go around plastic packaging.

Check the package

In Holland you can find a triangle on a plastic package. In this triangle there is a number that says something about the type of plastic. Maybe in your country there is something similiar on the package that tells you which plastic is used. You can also check this article.

If you can’t avoid plastic, please choose number 1, 2 or 5 and really try to avoid number 3: Polyvinyl chloride!

zero waste plastic

1. Polyethylene terephthalate

Also known as PET, PETE or polyester. It is best known for the plastic (PET) bottles. This plastic is easy to recycle, but it also contains antimony trioxide, a chemical that leaks away at high temperatures.

2. High density polyethylene

Also called HDPE. This is widely used as packaging material. It leaks fewer chemicals than number 1, making it a bit safer for storing food. This plastic can also be recycled.

3. Polyvinyl chloride, V or vinyl

A cheap plastic that is really bad for the environment and our health. The base consists of vinyl chloride, a very toxic and unstable substance. Try to avoid this plastic!

4. Low density polyethylene or LDPE

Also a plastic that is often used as packaging material. Recycling this plastic is more difficult, but it is safer.

5. Polypropylene or PP

A somewhat stiffer plastic that is often used for (collection) containers, for example. It is a stable plastic and is therefore seen as relatively safer.

6. Polystyrene, PS or Styrofoam.

This plastic leaks styrene at high temperatures. All the way to because it is widely used for disposable dishes and takeaways.

If you like to know more about Zero Waste principles click here for my blog about the 5 R’s.

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