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Econundrum: Glass vs. Recycled Plastic

Mindy Pennybacker, author of "Do One Green Thing" and editor of GreenerPenny.com, answers your green living questions. 

Q: Is it better to buy a product in a recycled plastic bottle or a glass bottle?

A: For a drink or food (especially if it's acidic), I'd choose glass, which is infinitely recyclable. Eighty percent of glass containers that are recycled are made into new ones -- and glass is free of the phthalates and bisphenol-A that can leach from plastic. 

However, you might not want to use breakable glass around children. And even though plastic is made of fossil fuels, its light weight requires fewer fossil fuels in shipping than glass. 

Just be sure to choose plastic marked "post-consumer recycled" (PCR) or "post-consumer waste" (PCW). Regular "recycled" plastic is usually made from factory scraps, which only encourages the continued production of new plastic.

For green-living tips on other topics, read more advice from Mindy.

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