Monday, March 24, 2014


This is from a mailer.

Look at it closely. It has lots of information right there.

You've seen them. You've gotten them. They are bubble mailers that are quite common. You know, the bubble stuff is fused to the plastic on the inside, providing nice protection for that book you mail that doesn't really need that kind of protection anyway.

Look at it again. It must be recyclable; after all, there's the symbol right there. And it's got those numbers there too. That means we toss it in the bin and it's all better.

To the casual recycler, this is all well and good. But think about this package for just a bit. Here's a small lesson in the recycling process.... those numbers are there to separate the different kinds of plastics. All the 1s go together, all the 2s, etc. Because they are different TYPES and will be handled differently. OK - cool, that's clear enough. So once everything gets sorted, away it goes. That's a whole other story, but for our purpose here, we'll Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.

So look again. There is a 2 and a 4 there. If you were holding the package, you would see this and understand that probably, the bubble part and the white outside part are the two different kinds of plastic. OK - cool, that's clear enough. But wait... this mailer is pretty much all one piece. The bubble stuff is completely attached to the outside part. Just a moment of thought should make anyone wonder how this would be dealt with in a recycling facility. How do they separate these?

Answer: they don't. YOU would have to pull apart the two different types of plastic, and even then, the bubble part is unlikely to have the recycling symbol on it, as it is stamped on the white part. So it's still going to just be trash, even if you put the extra effort into it.

So what am I saying? Stop using them? If you can. What I'm really pointing out, though, is the lies that are all around us. Just because it says something there on the package... nope. THINK about it.

And welcome to my head.