Category Archives: Soft plastics recycling

Soft or Hard? Soft and Hard!

I see the world recycling all their plastics, hard and soft

When I moved back to Canada from Italy, I was pleased to see blue boxes on the street on Garbage Day.  In Italy we had to walk about a block or two down the road and dump our recycling into a special bin and similarly carry our garbage into another bin.  The effort was often worthy of locally-made gelato (5 in our neighborhood).  Here in Canada the City actually picks up garbage and recycling if we bring it to the curb.  Garbage and Recycling!!!  Picked up!!!  Like having a tiramisu and eating it too!   I was even more thrilled when my friend Lisa told me about soft plastics and foil-lined plastics recycling run by Pacific Mobile Recycling

Soft plastics!  Wow now that is cool . So, in Victoria at least, we can recycle *everything*.  Every bit of saran wap, every foil-lined cereal bar wrapper.  Here is a photo of a few months worth of our foil and soft plastics recycling this weekend at a Mobil Recycling Station:


Dave and Marilyn, below, volunteers from the Oak Bay Green Committee helped me sort it into 1) foil wrappers (not to be confused with tin foil) 2) styrofoam 3) hard plastics that dont have the recycling numbers 1-7.

Dave and Marilyn oak bay green

David and Marilyn are awesome folks, and said how they never really dreamed of having fun sorting through other people’s trash.  We were having a great time.  However, they would like to put themselves out of a job, and have the city collect all types of plastic for recycling.  I am struck by how vibrant and nice looking all this waste is.   So pretty and colorful like candy, Dave agreed in his South London accent  (Does it get any better? We too used to live in South London!).  “The weird thing,” he said, “Is that the food, the brown dirty stuff is actually breaking down.”  Plastic can poison if-and-when it breaks down, not to mention what it does to animals who ingest it.  So if your average household refuse looks pretty and nice and colorful that is not great for the Earth.  Paradoxically, if it looks brown and smelly, slimy  and dirty –  that’s a good thing….

We want to put that good brown stuff back into the Earth and leave out the plastics.  A line from my grandfather’s song, “This Earth is Ours” mentions his “good, red soil”.  Good soil is made up of organic matter.  For some shots of sexy-looking soil, check out This Earth is Ours video:

Let’s leave the soil rich and fertile, organic and nutrient-rich.  Let’s put Dave and Marilyn out of a job and ask our Cities to collect and recycle it all, soft and hard.