Thursday, January 10, 2019

How to choose more environmentally friendly products

We've been working with the Sedona Marathon to help them create a zero waste event in 2019. They've managed to get rid of individual water bottles with water stations. But the runners still need to grab a cup of water as they run by. Is it better to use paper cups (which may or may not be compostable) or plastic (which, if they are #5, can be recycled along with yogurt containers)? Some restaurants have been wondering, should we buy the bio-based 'plastic' forks or the 'compostable' hot beverage cups.

The answers are complicated, but this article does a nice job of providing some guidance. The main points are:

--Much of the environmental impact of a material happens before the consumer gets it, so go for higher recycled content if you are choosing between two products made of the same material.

--But recycled content isn't necessarily a good indicator if you're choosing between different materials (like #5 plastic vs glass.)

--Recyclability and compostability are not always the best guides in part because the materials may or may not actually get recycled or composted.

https://www.oregon.gov/deq/FilterDocs/packagingFS.pdf

If you want to go deeper into the research, click here:
https://www.oregon.gov/deq/mm/production/Pages/Materials-Attributes.aspx

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