I don't know why I didn't know that earlier, but I didn't. I once suspected it, as Peel Region's easy-to-use recycling guide didn't show egg cartons among the many recyclable plastics, but I didn't investigate, then forgot. This year's guide (here, pdf) lists egg cartons under no-nos.
Switching to eggs that come in old-fashioned cardboard containers is easy. And I'll tell Loblaws I'm doing so. They purport to be such a green company, let them put their eggs in cardboard.
But learning that clear-plastic egg cartons are not recyclable brings up a whole bunch of other disconcerting questions.
What about the clear plastic that organic lettuce comes in? The clear plastic salad containers when we are very busy and buy pre-made salads? Clear plastic containers that nuts come in? Clear plastic containers for grape tomatoes?
We buy a lot of these clear plastic containers, and we always throw them in recycling. All this time, they've been non-recyclable? This is a rude shock, as we take pride in our assiduous recycling, and in how little non-recyclable waste we put out each week. So much for that.
The organic lettuce is especially a problem. I know we could buy lettuce that doesn't come in a plastic container, but we're also making an effort to buy organic, plus buying lettuce that's already been cleaned helps us eat more salad.
But we can't keep using all this plastic if it's just going to landfill.
The Peel Region waste management website says:
The Government of Ontario has jurisdiction over packaging. The Region of Peel has passed Council resolutions requesting the Province of Ontario to require brand owners and retailers to only use plastic packaging that is recyclable in municipal Blue Box programs.
If you are concerned about the amount of non-recyclable plastic packaging in the marketplace, the Region encourages you to contact your Member of Provincial Parliament, local grocer or retailer and make your views known.
I will do that.
But what to do right now? I feel we really have no choice but to cut down on this clear-plastic waste stream, to eliminate it wherever possible. But does this mean goodbye organic lettuce?