A World Of Plastic-Type 4

Up to this point the information on plastic has been extremely interesting. Not that Type 4 is boring but we have pretty much talked about it in one way or another. Low-density polyethylene, or LDPE is really similar to it’s cousin Type 2 and is responsible for those plastic bags we wrote a whole blog about.

LDPE is strong like HDPE but it is also very flexible therefore it is used for squeezable bottles. I would say a good portion of those summer allies at the picnic table are going to be Type 4 bottles. Those ketchup, mustard, mayo and relish bottles fit that bill perfectly. LDPE is also used to produce grocery bags and garbage bags, shrink wrap, stretch films, and coating for milk cartons. It can be found in some toys, various packing materials and carpet.

Since LDPE is used in so many random products the recycling of it is iffy at best. Some centers will take the bottles and milk cartons. Most curbside will say NO WAY!, too much work to separate the good from the bad. As for the bags, many stores all over the world have programs going on everyday. Plus, as we discussed in “A World Of Plastic-The Plastic Bag”, they are being banned all over the planet. The small amount of LDPE being recycled can become more carpet, bottles or bags but the numbers are dreadfully low, only about 3% worldwide.

LDPE has the same chemical concerns as Type 1 and 2 plastics. Heating these materials in the microwave or dishwasher can cause them to break down and leach. Most studies will give Type 4 a vote of approval for reusable water bottles and food related uses. So much better to use one LDPE bottle for your active lifestyle than all those one use water bottles. And cheaper!!!

And since we are talking reusing, how about bringing a shopping bag or two with us to the store? It’s time we should all get used to it because hopefully those plastic ones will be gone soon. Time for the shameless plug, bChill has both reusable bottles and bags available in our online store. 😉

Type 4 plastics need to figure out what they are doing so we can reuse the good and eliminate the bad. The benefits of some of it’s production are numerous but it’s hoarding of the landfill is ridiculous. We are lucky to be able to help out on this one. bRecycling, bReducing, bReusing and bRefusing. And bChill.


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