How many times have you been unsure about or tried to find the latest rules for recycling plastic, looking at those numbers on the bottom of containers and wondering what they mean and what the right thing is to do? Not all plastics are made equal, and some are definitely worse for the environment and our health than others. Although we can’t be expected to understand the chemistry of plastics, it is a good thing to become more familiar with the different types of plastic, their properties, and what they are made of. For example, what is the difference between polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, polyurethane, nylon, polycarbonate, or acrylic? Which of these plastics are biodegradable or safe to use for food, water, or microwaving, and which are not? For an enlightening read which will provide many answers, see if your library has the book “Plastic: A Toxic Love Story” by Susan Freinkel. Hear Freinkel talk about what motivated her book in a 60 Minutes report on plastic:


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