I have always been a big proponent of recycling. Years ago before cities began curb side service I would collect our recycling and make a weekly trip to a drop off location. Living in Iowa since I was a little girl we had a bottle tax law. When you purchased pop, beer or other liquor, 5 cent per item was added to your bill. I remember as a child walking around the neighborhood collecting bottles (cans weren’t as prevalent then) and taking them to redeem at the store to buy candy. For years when I took my daily walks I would take plastic grocery bags along with me to pick up trash, cans and bottles. I was always amazed that every day I could fill up sometimes 2 bags. My neighbors knew me as the “trash lady”. It became a regular joke with my husband how much money I made on my daily walks.
While traveling recently I read an article about a company in Seattle who has started a clothing line made entirely of recycled plastic bottles. Their first hot item were women’s black leggings, selling for $25. By the time the company gets in full swing with other products they estimate they will have diverted almost 7 million water bottles from land fills. That number is staggering to me and that is just one town one company.
Another fact I was unaware of is how long it takes a plastic bottle to biodegrade. The experts estimate it could take 450 years. Yikes! We Americans drink about 50 billion bottles of water every year but recycle only 23 % of that. I haven’t gotten in the habit of using a reusable bottle for my drinking water and do purchase bottled water for use when I am away from home running errands etc. I never leave home without one. I do however, continue to be diligent in collecting the empties and adding them to the recycle bin for our weekly pickups.
I chose a few varieties and sizes of water bottles to highlight this weeks them “Ordinary Objects”.