Can recycling be the answer for the continued use of plastics?

Over 90 percent of the plastics produced have not been recycled and without much tighter standards and controls on the quality, sorting, and destination of plastics there is a very high risk of downcycling (downcycling means the material is of lower quality and/or functionality than the original material and further recycling is not easily possible).

What is biodegradable plastic and how does it differ from other types of plastic?

The term “biodegradable” when used for marketing purposes includes a time component regarding the length of time it takes for the plastic to fully degrade. Most petroleum-based plastic is not readily biodegradable; ie. it is not consumed by microorganisms and returned to compounds found in nature.

Are glass and aluminum better options than single-use plastic bottles?

We would like to see companies innovate beyond current products to come up with alternative delivery systems. Single-use glass and aluminum products may have a place in a more sustainable system, but they are still based on a throwaway model that we must change.

If a plastic product is labeled “compostable,” can I add it to my home compost pile?

No. Unless the label indicates that the product is okay for home composting, you should not try to compost it at home. Plastic that is labeled as compostable is generally intended to be sent to an industrial or commercial composting facility which has higher temperatures and different breakdown conditions than those found in a typical homeowner’s compost bin.