Dear Recycle Lady,
Last week you said brown paper grocery bags can be recycled. What about brown paper bags that have handles? Can these bags be recycled?
Handles or No Handles
Dear Handles or No Handles,
If the handles of the brown paper bag are made of paper, the bag can be recycled with the handles on it. If the handles are made from other materials, such as plastic, string or ribbon, the handles must be removed before recycling your bag with cardboard.
Dear Recycle Lady,
I recently saw a documentary where birds were dying because they were eating pieces of plastic. Where are these pieces of plastic coming from?
Much of this plastic pollution the birds are eating often comes from people discarding plastic items into our rivers, streams, and oceans. Overtime, these items break down into smaller pieces and become part of the environment. The birds eat these pieces of plastic thinking they are food and, essentially, starve to death. Currently, there is an ongoing project that is working to help remove this plastic from the ocean. Free the Ocean.com was created in 2019 by 24year-old Mimi, who lives in California. She wanted to find a no cost way for individuals to have an impact on this plastic pollution in the ocean, thus, Free The Ocean came to be. The website,www.freetheocean.com, has a daily trivia question about the ocean that is interesting and informative. Just answering the multiple-choice question funds the removal of one piece of plastic, regardless of whether your answer is right or wrong. As she says, “all of our small actions, when put together create a big impact.” To date, thanks to individuals from over 130 countries who click onwww.freetheocean.com more than 8 million (8,000,000!) pieces of plastic have been removed from the ocean. If you haven’t tried this website, I highly recommend it and it takes less than a minute. Mimi’s hope is that readers learn something new from answering the trivia question, and have fun doing it.
Did you know that you probably consume about 5 grams of microplastics each week; an amount which is approximately equivalent to the size of a credit card? USA Today printed the result of a study recently that revealed we are eating, swallowing or breathing in about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic weekly. According to a study developed by the World Wildlife Fund and carried out by the University of Newcastle in Australia, this consumption of microplastics has become unavoidable in recent years. Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than 5 mm (0.2 inch) in size that are formed when larger pieces of plastics break down through natural weathering processes and become part of the environment. These tiny pieces of plastic are too small to be filtered out of our wastewater systems, so they end up in our drinking water, rivers and oceans. Microplastics are present in a variety of products, from plastic bags and bottles, food, cosmetics, cleaning products, synthetic clothing, both bottled and tap water to name only a few. Are these microplastics harmful to humans? According to UK’s Metro News, “It’s unclear how harmful microplastics are for humans, although research is ongoing,” and a UN report on the topic stated: “The presence of microplastic in foodstuffs could potentially increase direct exposure of plastic-associated chemicals to humans and may present an attributable risk to human health.”
Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to email@example.com. Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling. Need information on recycling?
Both the Recycling Center: (http://greenbrier-swa.com) and Greenworks (https://greenworksrecyclingwv.com/dear-recycle-lady) websites have the questions and answers from all previous columns, plus additional information.