Growth and change are part of human nature. From conception to the grave we stay in a constant state of flux as our exposure to information increases and our understanding deepens. Because of this, I would make very different choices now on some of the projects that I have done on this blog than I did several years ago when I began exploring the possibilities of recycling packaging waste. The greatest changes I would make would definitely center around the projects recycling plastics.
Plastics are extremely pervasive in our society, and they represent a large amount of the packaging coming into my home. More and more, I have continued to see articles warning that plastics have a negative side–mostly in the area of our health. An Internet search reveals a host of information. In particular, PVC, Polystyrene, and older plastic compounds–many of which were marketed for microwave cooking–(recycling numbers 3, 6, and 7 respectively), seem to present the greatest health risks. And these more unstable plastics show up in rather unlikely places. This has led me to re-evaluate the plastics that I keep in my house and the kinds of recycling projects that I would use them in. For example, the plastic cosmetic jewelry beads and lids that form my lazy Susan probably do not pose much of a health threat since they are not heated or touched, and do not come into contact with food. I would likely do this project again. However, projects where plastics are meant to be used in direct contact with food, like my cake dome bowl, I might not now recommend. Projects that might result in fumes being released from melting plastic, such as the fused bag day packs or maybe even the heat-retention ovens (I don’t know if the material inside the bag does this or not), certainly need to be restricted to a well-ventilated area.
Individuals will have to decide their own level of plastic interaction, but blog postings on this site after January 2015 are likely to include less plastic. Though I have chosen to leave the older postings on this blog, I do encourage readers to educate themselves on the different kinds of plastics, and the health risks that are involved with their use.