Plastic

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

 


This month the City of Boise asked the community to take action and join the plastics challenge: to give up one disposable plastics item. That could be straws, plastic bags, or — the big one — non-reusable water bottles. Though July is coming to an end, the discussion over single-use plastics is just getting started, and the Zero Waste Boise Institute is planning to continue the conversation.

 

City of Boise

If you live in Boise and are running out of orange recycle bags, the city is changing the way you can get them.

 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been almost a year since Boise began sending hard-to-recycle plastics to a facility in Salt Lake. The plastics that can go in the orange bags are numbered 4, 5, 6 and 7. Once they’re collected from homes around Boise, they’re trucked to Utah and converted to diesel fuel.

 

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The holidays are a time of delicious treats and gifts. But it’s also a time for plastic waste, whether it’s the wrapper on a Christmas cookie or the packaging on a tree ornament.

 

City of Boise

Oliver Russell owns and operates PlasticWorks, a community recycling facility that processes products other recyclers wouldn't. Idaho Matters looks at the effort to re-use every last bit of plastic and keep it out of oceans and landfills.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

When China put a ban on plastics at the beginning of the year, it sent shockwaves through the global recycling market. Cities across Idaho and the country have been struggling to find a new use for their recycled material.

Raul Pacheco-Vega / Flickr Creative Commons

In Boise, the days of throwing all of your recyclable material in the same bin are over. That’s because China -- which used to accept recycled material from around the world -- put stringent new standards into effect January 1. 

newspaper, newspapers, stack
Elizabeth Sánchez / Flickr Creative Commons

China’s recent ban on importing plastics upended the global recycling market, which sent ripples into the Treasure Valley last month. That’s now affecting mixed paper in Boise as well.

Mike Carney / Flickr Creative Commons

Republic Services picks up paper, aluminum and plastics in southwest Idaho communities from Middleton to Mountain Home. The company is no longer accepting plastics numbered 3-7, which includes things like pipes, plastic bags, some food containers and plastic utensils.

Provided by Lex Shapiro

Last week, the Idaho House passed a bill that would prohibit cities from banning the use of plastic grocery bags. If it becomes law, the bill would prevent the formation of local movements — like one Lex Shapiro was a part of in Hailey five years ago — to make the bags illegal.

The 21-year-old college student grew up in the Wood River Valley, where she learned a deep appreciation for the outdoors.