Coming back to my experience at the above mentioned restaurant , they had options for eco-friendly takeaways with a higher packing cost than that with plastic containers. I promptly opted that and all my delicious food was packed in aluminium packets sealed nicely and including cardboard carry-box.
Being a eco-nut that I am, I planned to clean and reuse the aluminium foils and cardboard box. By mistake I washed the cardboard box first and discovered that it was water proof- “Due to a thin layer of plastic”. Surprises didn’t stop there. Aluminium coating on the packets washed away by simple soap solution revealing a nice plastic bag which had my hot curry packed in(Photo).
With anger I started checking all my foil packages including the famous Ziploc foil package. I checked all the breakfast cereals / spices/ snacks and grocery packets which I usually bought thinking that they come inside a cardboard box and are two different materials which can be recycled. All of them were same plastic even the small spice-mix packet which came inside quick noodles. Some were metalised thin plastic film like above and some were lined inside outside with plastic which can be peeledoff with a little effort.
These look like aluminium foil but are actually made from metallised plastic film. Peeling the plastic off such packets is not possible in recycling plant hence this type of material is not recycled and goes into landfills.
One obvious test for this type of material is scrunch test-scrunch the packet in your hand – if it springs back open it’s not recyclable foil.
If it stays scrunched and can be rolled into a ball, its pure aluminium foil.
But scrunching is not an option before buying packaged products . Some products have options available where they are packed in simple transparent or white plastic bottles or containers which can be recycled if disposed of properly. Now I think I should have gone with the standard white plastic takeaway which could be recycled. A better choice in this case would be the image on the right for any kind of product.
Look for hidden plastics in products you use daily, eliminate as many of these as possible, and do share
Images wherever taken from web are linked to their original source