Some people think that throwing plastics into a fire might be a convenient idea, especially if they have a fireplace at home. However, there are some things you should keep in mind before you try it, including the legal consequences of this practice. Here’s everything you need to know from our toxic chemical burn injury attorney, Michael Ehline!
Many Things Have Changed… Fireplaces Are Not on that List
The invention of the domestic fireplace took place hundreds of years ago, and back in the day, humans probably never dreamed of technology advancing so much. Even though many things have changed due to technological improvements, fireplaces are not on that list.
Nowadays, a domestic fireplace has little to no use. You can regulate the temperature of your home in different ways, and you don’t need to burn coal or wood anymore. Therefore, people primarily have them for aesthetic purposes.
If you have a domestic fireplace at home and your house is also full of unused junk, you might wonder if burning plastic objects is a solution for that. There are a few things you should know about the topic, so take a look at the next few sections.
Burning Plastic Waste – Can You Do it in a Domestic Fireplace?
The short answer is no, you shouldn’t even try it. Overall, the commercial incineration process occurs in specific places due to very precise reasons, primarily because burning plastics means your fireplace releases dangerous chemicals that could harm you, the people around you, and the environment.
Regardless of whether you’re getting rid of plastic trash, plastic bags, reusable containers, or other kinds of waste plastic, this action makes your fireplace release toxic gases full of dangerous chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, and more.
Can Plastic Bottles Harm the Environment?
All kinds of plastic objects can harm the environment, especially if you don’t safely burn them. The golden rule is to recycle, not throw away or try to get rid of them by exposing them to the high temperatures of your chimney.
Thus, the perfect solution to avoid heavy metals going into the precious air of your house is to grab that spare bubble wrap you have and throw it in a recycling container. Alternatively, hand it to specialized garbage disposal experts, who can safely burn them without harming anyone.
What Happens if You Burn Plastic
Burning plastics means you’re contributing to releasing massive amounts of harmful chemicals into the air, for example, carbon monoxide. Although this doesn’t sound like much, many of these gases are potentially carcinogenic
The chemicals that go into the air after you burn something as seemingly harmless as a plastic bag can cause respiratory ailments as well as stress humans’ immune systems.
According to MIT, the way to temporarily deal with this is to recycle plastic objects instead of burning them since it’s the only alternative to guarantee you’re not producing dangerous gasses or harming the environment in any way. Currently, scientists are working to develop high-tech options to get rid of plastic, but until that happens, recycling is key.
Is It Illegal to Burn Plastic?
Since producing such massive amounts of dangerous gasses through fire is so harmful to human health, this practice is completely illegal in most of the United States.
Burn barrels and plastic produce many more dangerous chemicals than seasoned wood or other materials, as they need much higher temperatures before they’re completely burned. Therefore, to avoid dioxins and monoxide emissions through smoke, authorities have decided to make plastic-burning illegal.
Can You Get Poisoned from the Gas that Your Fireplace Emits?
Unfortunately, yes. If you burn so much as a plastic bag, your health can suffer catastrophic consequences.
According to the MIT School of Engineering, one option would be to replace your regular old fireplace with a commercial incinerator. In that case, burning different kinds of plastic would theoretically be possible. However, this alternative is so expensive and out of people’s reach, that it’s still not a viable path.
Therefore, as of right now, what you must know is that grabbing those plastics and throwing them on your fireplace is immensely dangerous. Until you can safely burn things like that, you should stay away from trying it out in your chimney, particularly because it’s also illegal.
Should You Use Your Fireplace?
You can use your fireplace, but not to safely burn plastic. Instead, enjoy the flames that it can give you or decorate it to fit your aesthetic.
Just because you can’t burn plastic in your chimney doesn’t mean that it’s illegal to have it. A fireplace is a symbol of a warm home, and some people even enjoy using it like a stove, even if it’s just to make s’mores.
Maybe in the future, experts will come up with a way to use your fireplace to get rid of those old Legos. In the meantime, just make some marshmallows and recycle the plastic stuff you have.
Are There Legal Consequences?
Since burning these objects in a fireplace is illegal, there are consequences, and you might have to face them if you don’t follow the rules.
You should remember that these guidelines exist to protect you, your loved ones, and the people around you. Therefore, don’t try burning anything made of plastic in your fireplace.
How Can You Know for Sure?
Overall, plastic burning is illegal in the United States. In some parts of California, you might be able to burn cardboard, but it depends on where you are.
Hiring a Legal Team Is the Best Alternative
If you’re interested in burning cardboard, wood, etc., you need to know whether or not you’re harming yourself or the atmosphere.
Hiring a legal expert is the best alternative because they can answer whether or not this is illegal, and you can ask any related questions you have on the subject.
Ehline Law Firm Can Help You
No one knows what the future will bring for carbon emissions. Therefore, if you want legal guidance from a top team, contact Ehline Law Firm today.
Our firm is unlike any other because you can get expert assistance regardless of the question you have. A team is at your service and it can help you!
How to Find the Ideal Attorney
With so many law firms in the US, how do you pick the ideal one? At Ehline Law Firm, we are here to ensure that our clients get the justice they deserve. Here are a few factors to consider when finding the ideal attorney for you:
Consider All Your Alternatives
Firstly, you must make a list of all your options. Write a short description of each lawyer and include the law firm they work with, if applicable, along with their contact information.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Once you pick a few of your favorites, schedule a free case evaluation with each one, including one of our experienced attorneys.
This session is essential because you’ll learn about the lawyer’s personality and whether or not they might be the ideal professional to work with. Make sure you ask as many questions as you can!
Compare Pros and Cons
After having the one-on-one sessions with different attorneys, compare the pros and cons of each one to make sure you’re choosing the best professional you can.
Call the Ideal Lawyer for You
Lastly, contact the attorney you choose as soon as you can to start the legal process. If you pick the correct person, they can passionately defend your case, regardless of what you’re going through!
Contact Ehline Law Firm Today
Now that you know that burning plastics is illegal, contact Ehline Law Firm if you have any further questions. With a knowledgeable team of experts to handle many different cases, you don’t have to worry about going through the legal process alone anymore. Call us today at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation or feel free to use our online contact us form today.