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"Oh. That's a relief."
"But lids are not same. The yogurt top is a number 4, whereas margarine top is a number 2."
"You mean lids are not made of same plastic as containers?" my wife exclaimed.
"Exactly," I replied. "And not same as each other. There must be a reason they use for yogurt top a plastic of such poor upbringing that our recycling program rejects it. It might be dangerous to mix them up."
"Then why else would they need three different plastics for two simple containers that are used for essentially same purpose under same conditions?"
My wife turned around to leave. "Wait," I cried. "There's more."
"I was afraid of that."
"The parfait container has no number. Does that mean it's undercover? The lid is a 4, which means we can switch it with yogurt lid, but not with margarine lid."
"The parfait container is clear. You can see through it. Maybe they can't recycle see-through plastics."
"Exactly what I thought," I exclaimed. "But look at your shampoo. It's in a clear bottle, a number 1. But matching conditioner, which is not clear, is in a number 2."
"That makes sense," my wife assured me. "Maybe."
"Not really. Number 2 is used in margarine lid, big ice cream bucket and vitamin jar. Besides, here is another margarine container made of clear plastic, and it is also a 5 with a 4 lid."
"This is way too confusing," my wife said. "We have a baby to attend to. She just can't seem to sleep."
"With all our containers mixed up like this, who knows what world is coming to," I cried. "No wonder she can't sleep."
The author is David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy. To receive his satire column weekly in your inbox, sign up at http://TheHappyGuy.com/positive-thinking-free-ezine.html or read more columns at http://TheHappyGuy.com/self-actualization-articles.html . This article is also viewable at http://TheHappyGuy.com/plastic-recycling-product.html .