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You're at the artist's reception and the wine corks pop.  Then you're handed a glass of wine in a plastic cup.  Eeeek!
Most of us will not use disposable plastic products if we can help it, but there are times when large groups must be served and disposables are the only practical way to accommodate everybody.
Unfortunately, disposable plastic products are becoming a serious, planet-wide, environmental problem.  Not only will they almost never biodegrade, but they are accumulating in our land and marine ecosystems at an alarming rate.  In fact, there is a "island" of plastic trash twice the size of the state of Texas now floating in the northern Pacific Ocean.  See  article.  Petroleum-based plastics are also a toxic problem in our municipal waste streams where they are either landfilled or burned in incinerators.  As a result, many cities and countries are grappling with measures to reduce plastic waste. 
Fortunately, recent years have seen the emergence of a variety of disposable,  "bio-plastics" products which are biodegradable and compostable.  These products are usually  made from corn starch, potato starch or  cane sugar.  And although, in themselves, they are not the definitive answer to our plastic waste problems, they can make a difference because they will break down if they escape into the environment.
Caution however must be made when using plant-based disposables:
* Don't put them into the recycling bin--either compost or dispose of as trash. (They are non-toxic in landfills and incinerators).
* They may challenge your home composter.  Try chipping them first.
* Best option is municipal composting if available in your community.
* Always look for the compostable logo.


 paper bits
Food Carton Manufacturers Expand Recycling

Only 26 states have communities that accept food and drink cartons in their recycling systems.  Consequently, four major carton manufacturers have created the Carton Council to help improve carton recycling by promoting recycling technology and local collection programs.  Cartons that are made of 85% paper and 15% polymer can be processed through a process called hydropulping.    

GreenLine Paper Company, Inc | 631 S. Pine Street | York | PA | 17403