Smart Health Talk Supports America Recycles Day
Recycling is good for the country, and helps create new jobs. It takes much more energy to manufacturer "new" products compared to recycling already made products such as PET plastic. One PET bottle can power a light bulb for six hours and can be recycled forever. Energy wasted in making new materials are also polluting our food. Recycling is something anyone can do for their country and we all benefit.
Healthy food that comes from clean waters and nutrient rich fields cultivated without pesticides can make America stronger, by making our people stronger. Smart Health Talk Radio Talk Show set out to help their listeners understand the importance of recycling to our future food supplies through guest speakers, a new recycling blog post, and recycling tips and links on their website.
Not only does recycling preserve resources and create new jobs, it saves energy. Packaging that comes from new virgin raw materials uses much more energy than using recycled materials. As much as eight times more energy.
Most energy generating processes create pollution. One by product is mercury that ends up contaminating our fish. It is no longer safe for pregnant women to regularly eat certain types of fish because of the risk to their unborn child. High mercury exposure can cause permanent disability to the child.
According to Alison Barrett, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program and Smart Health Talk Guest, "Fish that are at the most risk for mercury contamination are larger fish that have had more years to accumulate mercury in their bodies."
The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) recommends pregnant women eat no more than three, six-ounce servings per month. Fish on their list to avoid or limit includes blue fin, black fin, ahi, and big eye yellow fin tunas, canned albacore white tuna, orange roughy, swordfish, marlin, mackerel, shark, tilefish, grouper, and sea bass (Chilean).
"Consumers are the key to success,” according to Elaine McFadden. Recycling works, when we work together, it’s that simple. Something we can all do is “say no to the bag.” Some retail bags are large and unneeded. Bring you own or do without it.
Energy dollars are ending up in the trash. According to Dan Bahou, VP of Marketing at Global PET, "California is doing a good job with over 60% of trash recycled, with others states running at 28% of total trash," Dan explained the potential energy factor for #1 PET plastic as “unlimited.” Apparently PET can be recycled forever with practically a 100% return of raw materials. One plastic bottle can power one light bulb for six hours.
Plant based plastics made from corn, are displacing food sources at a time when people are going hungry. Dan Bahou, Global PET explained, "Some plastics can hinder the recycling process. PLA (Polyactide) plastic weight is different than PET plastic weight. When PLA gets into the recycled plastic mix efficiency is reduced. Currently only a few recycling centers are set up to process these types of plant plastics where all recycling centers can process #1 PET plastic."
Corn plastic, or PLA #7, also pushes farmers to grow GMO corn (genetically modified organisms). A GMO crop comes with many environmental and health risks as discussed on other Smart Health Talk shows. According to Dr. David Suzuki, RedGreenandBlue.org, GMOs are living organisms trying to survive. To do that their pollen travels through the air and becomes embedded into other plant DNA, forever changing that plant. Once embedded, it cannot be removed. There are no long term studies that demonstrate GMO safety, but many studies that show risk including infertility.
According to Jeffrey Smith, author Genetic Roulette and Seeds of Deception, and a Smart Health Talk Guest, "Doctors are telling him they are now prescribing non GMO diets to all patients."
We have to ask which if any plant based plastic is a good use of energy resources. Food waste now collected and used in plastics could be made into compost instead of plastic. This type of “living fertilizer” will help revitalize our depleted agricultural fields. Most non organic crops are currently fertilized with petroleum based products. Oil into plastic to 100% recycle, and food waste to compost and farmers.
We need to lay the ground work for our recycling systems of tomorrow and all get on the same page for the highest savings.
Dan Bahou, Global PET said, "If we could start saving all PET bottles right now, we could keep recycling them forever and not even need any new oil."
Landfills cost cities and taxpayers money and are not wanted. With recycling that can practically be eliminated.
Find the Smart Health Talk Radio Show at www.smarthealthtalk.com. Visit us to read our blog, listen to our podcasts, and check out our recycling tips and resources.
Elaine McFadden, Smart Health Talk Host, is a registered dietitian with a Master's Degree in Public Health from Loma Linda University. Elaine has many years of experience working in the organic and natural foods industry, and in public health to increase healthy choices in schools.
Elaine McFadden, MPH, RD