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I miei amori con la plastica

July 8, 2010

So my miei amori or love affair with the ‘teh tarik tapau’ continues since my last rambling (way, way back in April 2009!) on a related issue. The then-small issue was why I was given a straw when I ordered a hot beverage? The eighth wonder of the world was unanswered so now I hope I will have a chance to confront the waiter soon.

This morning I ordered one yet again, yes, after all these years but from another outlet. Happy to report, no drinking straw this time. After finishing the yummy thick and foamy teh tarik, the big question is what to do with the plastic cup (and cover)? Straight to the dustbin, yes?


Not that visible in this photo but my plastic cup has its Resin Identification code #6.

Just before the empty cup enter the mouth of the bin, I noticed that the cup’s cover and bottom part has the recycle symbol on it, or under it –depending on from which view you are looking at. It clearly shows the recycle symbol that I am sure everyone is familiar with now, with a number in the centre of the three arrows.

I assume everyone knows what the symbol means – yes, the cup and the cover can be recycled. And the number? This makes me blog about it! The number is actually the resin identification code I googled, which is a way to identify the polymer or plastics type the item is made from. The code is suppose to let consumers, like me and you, know whether the item can be recycled, and for recyclers to differentiate the types of plastics, while at the same time provide a uniform coding for manufacturers. The numbers range from 1 to 7. 1 is the commonest and easiest to recycle while 7 means plastic items that are most difficult to recycle. My plastic cup has 6 – plastics which are useful to be recycled and widely acceptable as they can be reprocessed into many more plastic items.

The Resin Identification codes

Read on how to recycle plastics according to the types.

Do we have a recycling plant for plastics in Brunei? Not that I am aware of. If there is, please do shout. I am now thinking where my plastic cup will travel to. From the garbage bin to the dumping station where the garbage collector will combine everything from metal to wood, to household waste and also glass with more plastics. The garbage will end up at the Sungai Akar landfill dumpsite, at least for the moment.

The end of my love affair with teh tarek in plastics

I am happy to learn that BEDB has thoroughly plan Brunei’s own waste management system which includes the possibility of an alternative method to dispose of waste such as via incineration, decomposition or recycling. The news item also mentions that Brunei do not know how much plastic it has in our rubbish. Yes, that really need a study. I haven’t heard the latest news on this and I just hope it will be soon.

My interim suggestion is for the public, including myself, to stop accepting anymore plastic cups or container next time we order our teh tarik or Mee Goreng Mamak and to bring in our own re-usable containers. So, Ministry of Development, the next campaign should be ‘No Plastic Cups or Containers Day’ or week or month.

I can already see the end of my love affair with my teh tarik in polymer # 6. Not anti-plastic here. Check this out. More creative ways on the use of plastics.

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