Sunday, March 30, 2008

The hunt is on for No. 2 in a triangle

HDPE must be all around us. I do not have a clear picture of how much of petrochemicals goes into polyethylene manufacture down there in Texas, but we are sure lucky if the high cost of oil ($105 a barrel?) did not make a milk jug cost more than the gallon of milk.

I am sure some of the polyethylene comes from corn (ethanol stream). Some of the polyethylene probably comes from natural gas, through Merox or Sulfrex technology. However, no matter how you look at it, and no matter where on the political spectrum you are, sooner or later you might realize that you would not want let much of the mass of polyethylene in the form of HDPE go to a landfill, or to an incineration plant.

I looked around the house and found that I have loads of that HDPE stuff. The little arrow triangle with "2" inside is everywhere. It's on the bleach jug. It's on the vitamin bottle. Fabric softener. Oven cleaner. Some of the bottle caps are made of the stuff.

My friends are already feeling the gas price. People are staying in. Vermont reports decline in travel-related sports, like fishing and hunting. Pizza delivery has a $5 surcharge for orders under a medium-size pizza. I would like to feel better and stuff my recycling center green box with all of my recycled plastic, and HDPE, Triangle No.2 is most of it. It's going to go and become, at least, HDPE scrap, (or check out HDPE Regrind) pressed and ready to become a resilient padding for a children's playground, or, better yet, a great multitude of laundry detergent bottles.

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