WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans produce 25 percent more household waste during the holiday season—that's an extra 1.2 million tons of trash per week from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Plastics Make it Possible® offers some simple tips on how plastics and recycled plastics can help reduce waste by allowing consumers to do more with less—during the holidays and in the new year.
"The holidays often involve traditions that live on for generations, so why not make it a tradition to seek ways to create less waste?" said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, which sponsors the Plastics Make it Possible® initiative. "That's a tradition that can be carried on throughout the year. For example, waste-saving plastic packaging and reusable containers can result in less food and packaging waste from meals and entertaining, during the holidays and year round."
Here are some examples of how consumers can do more with less this holiday season and beyond:
- Recycle More Plastics: Plastics recycling is growing rapidly, so make certain everyone in your household and your guests know what plastics are recycled—both at curbside and at in-store collection bins. Nearly all Americans today have access to plastic bottle recycling, and many communities also collect other plastic containers and even bottle caps and lids. Separately, flexible plastics, such as bags and product wraps, can be returned to many grocery and retail stores for recycling. Check with your municipality or type in your zip code at Earth911.com to find out what's collected and where in your community.
Recycling results in less plastic in the garbage bin—and these plastics can live a new life as holiday gifts, clothing, cooking tools, garden planters, building products, packaging or even carpeting for your home. Click here for tips and info on recycling more plastics.
- Look for Recycled Plastic Kitchen Tools: Recycled plastics from beverage bottles, yogurt containers, and milk jugs are used to make a variety of handy kitchen tools, such as cutting boards, mixing bowls, cooking utensils and storage containers. Seeking out products made with recycled plastics helps create another use for plastic packaging and keeps valuable materials out of landfills.
- Reduce Food Waste: Choosing the right packaging is really an investment in protecting our food—up to 10 times more resources are used to make and distribute food than to make the packaging that protects it. Reusable, airtight and shatter-resistant plastic containers help keep holiday leftovers fresh in the refrigerator after those big meals, which helps reduce food waste. And freezing leftovers in various sized plastic containers lets you enjoy your favorite holiday dishes throughout the winter in pre-portioned servings. Plastic containers labeled for use in both the freezer and microwave means you can freeze, heat and even serve food from the same container, which saves time and energy. And if you end up with more food than you need after your holiday meals, lightweight plastic zipper bags are great for sending leftovers home with guests so food doesn't go to waste. These bags can be washed and reused and eventually recycled (if clean and dry) with plastic bags and wraps at participating stores.
- Look for Innovative Packaging: Seek out meals, entrees, side dishes, snacks and ingredients packaged in lightweight, re-sealable plastic pouches that allow you to use only the amount you need and then store the rest for later, which leads to less food waste. And that lightweight plastic packaging also saves on fuel needed to transport food and drinks to grocery stores, which results in less energy use and fewer truck engine emissions. A recent study found that using alternatives to six widely used types of plastic packaging would require 80 percent more energy demand—on an annual basis, that's equivalent to the energy from more than 3,800 oil supertankers.
For more information on how plastic packaging helps us do more with less, visit It's A Wrap.
About Plastics Make it Possible®
Plastics Make it Possible® highlights the many ways plastics inspire innovations that improve our lives, solve big problems, and help us design a safer, more promising future. This initiative is sponsored by America's Plastics MakersTM of the American Chemistry Council. For more information, visit www.plasticsmakeitpossible.com, check out our Facebook page and follow us @plasticpossible on twitter at www.twitter.com/plasticpossible.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $760 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is the largest exporting sector in the U.S., accounting for 12 percent of U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.
Contact: Jennifer Killinger (202) 249-6619
SOURCE Plastics Make it Possible