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safety of plastic for rain barrels - Sustainable living for beginners and city slickers

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March 28th, 2010


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wildnettles
03:08 pm - safety of plastic for rain barrels
hello all, i hope this is an appropriate community to post this question...

i have a heavy duty plastic trash can that i would like to use for a rainwater barrel. (i've been doing rainwater catchment for many years now but i accidentally broke our barrel last fall.)

i do not want a bunch of nasties to leach into the rainwater, so i was reading the bottom of the plastic trash can. this is what i found:

-a recycle logo with no number inside
-NSF STD. 2 FOOD CONTACT: WHITE, GRAY, YELLOW
-NSF STD 21 REFUSE: NO COLOR RESTRICTIONS

can someone help me to decipher this? i did some research on the NSF (national sanitation foundation) website and cannot figure out what the "white, gray, yellow" means.

any guidance on how "safe" this plastic is would be much appreciated.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ponygirl72
Date:March 28th, 2010 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Hi, there!

I employed a bit of Google-Fu on your behalf, and it looks like white, gray, and yellow are the allowable dyes which may be used on this type of plastic (STD 2: HDPE) if it is to be certified for "food contact". If your trash can is, say, black, then it would NOT be certified for food contact, because of ingredients contained in the black dye.

Clear as mud? ;-)
[User Picture]
From:wildnettles
Date:March 28th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)
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hi!
i tried all kinds of word combinations on yahoo search but wasn't coming up with any explanations. i'm glad you knew the right things to search for:)

what you've found makes sense (part of my brain was wondering: "only safe for foods that are white, gray, or yellow?" haha). my trash can is indeed black, darn it. not sure what i'll do... probably search harder for a whiskey barrel or something.

thanks for helping to sort out my confusion!
[User Picture]
From:stephsicola
Date:March 29th, 2010 12:12 pm (UTC)
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My recommendation is to find a used honey or agave nectar barrel...that's what we're using. We found it on Craigslist. It's great, because the top is already sealed to keep out mosquitos and debris, and all you have to do is hook it up to your gutter and you're good to go. We're going to keep ours on a platform so that we'll have some water pressure to use a hose with it. Good luck!
[User Picture]
From:wildnettles
Date:March 29th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
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interesting suggestion! i didn't know that honey and agave nectar were ever put into big barrels like that. thanks, i will keep this in mind:)

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