To the Editor:
Glass is the only material recognized by the Food and Drug Administration at GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe)so plastic labels on glass bottles are a nasty thing. As the Ellensburg Glass Recycling Cooperative has grown to more than 75 active glass ambassadors and more than 200 household participants, we are learning a lot!
After crushing more than 10 tons of new sand, we have become familiar with which bottles have plastic labels. Plastic labels must be removed before being made into pulverized glass sand to avoid contamination of our soil and water. Plastic waste is damaging to our planet and continues to degrade our diverse ecosystems.
Plastic breaks down leaving behind micro-plastics. These micro-plastics never fully degrade and will be around forever. They have been found littered in the ocean, in the Columbia River, and even in the White Salmon River. They’re harmful to animals, soil, water, and human health.
Plastics are made from petroleum products. The resource extraction required to produce plastics worsens our current climate crisis: we need to mitigate the amount of petroleum products we are using.
Did you know that 40% of all plastic produced is single-use plastic which is used for a short period of time and then thrown away? Much of that is unnecessary waste that could be replaced with reusable alternatives. The amount of plastic we use adds up.
Perhaps our community can rethink purchase of products in glass with plastic labels because of the health implications. As a reality check I am listing some products using plastic labels on glass containers to raise awareness of consumers regarding how their shopping choices may affect our common spaces and dwindling resources. A few product brands sold in glass containers with plastic labels: Elysian and Budweiser, Lighthouse Salad Dressing, Honest Tea, Starbucks, Calypso, Virgil’s, Synergy, Crofters Jam, Spectrum Oil and most Kombuchas.
Raising our own awareness and writing to companies using plastic labels asking for a change is a first step to a healthier more livable world.