The shelves at Wal-Mart have been a staple of American homes for more than a century.
They’re still used today, with the company providing thousands of products with plastic inserts and inserts that can be removed from the shelves to make room for other items.
But as a plastic drawer is removed, the plastic is treated like it’s been in storage for decades.
“The plastic is just sitting there in a warehouse somewhere and it’s not being recycled, so it’s a good thing,” said Jodi Hahn, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
“If you’re trying to store it in a way that it can be reused in a long-term way, the plastics can be recycled.
But it’s just sitting in the warehouse.”
Plastic bins and plastic storage containers are also recycled.
Wal-mart says it uses plastic storage bins, plastic drawstring bags, and plastic foam mattresses, but that those products can also be recycled if the product has been stored for a long time.
Hahn said plastic is a waste product, but it’s difficult to quantify how much is actually used.
“We’re trying, but we don’t really know what the numbers are,” she said.
The companies that produce plastic products like the Staples and Target line of products also have their own recycling programs, but the recycling programs are far more extensive than those for products like those used at WalMart.
While plastic is an important waste product that can help reduce landfill waste, Hahn and her colleagues say that’s not always the case.
“I think we need to think of the plastics as a whole, and they’re all important, but they’re not all going to be equally important,” Hahn told NBC News.
“They’re all going have to be recycled.”
Plastic containers can also have a long shelf life.
“You’re going to end up with plastic in the container, and it could be in the landfill,” said Hahn.
“Or it could have been in the box for a very long time.”
The companies selling plastic products also say that they will recycle those products if the packaging is in a plastic bin for a certain length of time, as long as it’s used at a recycling facility.
But Hahn says that’s often not the case with plastic storage.
“When you have plastic in a storage container, you’ve got plastic in there for a really long time, so you’re basically adding plastic waste into the environment,” she explained.
“So you’re going into a landfill.
You’re adding plastic to the atmosphere.”
Plastic also has environmental drawbacks, such as its ability to be ingested by humans, and even being able to cause problems with the environment.
“There’s also the potential for it to be used in a landfill,” Hain said.
Plastic containers also pose a health risk.
Plastic can cause problems for people who consume it.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people use disposable plastic containers instead of plastic storage, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest says plastic can be harmful to health if ingested.
“In general, we’re seeing a growing body of research that suggests that plastic ingestion may be one of the health problems that people are most concerned about,” said Holly Leung, senior policy advisor for the Center’s Plastic Waste Reduction Initiative.
“And so the fact that plastic can become a source of illness and illness is not surprising.”
Plastic has also been linked to a number of other health problems.
In 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would require plastic to be labeled with a warning label.
Hain says the labeling is needed to make sure consumers know what to look for when they see plastic packaging.
Plastic also contributes to pollution.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, plastic waste contains about 4.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
The plastic is also a major contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.
Plastic bottles and containers are not only harmful to the environment, but also to people who use them.
“What you’re doing is putting your foot on the gas and then throwing it in the trash, and then not doing anything about it,” said Leung.
“That’s not a good way to go.”
The plastic in plastic containers can end up in landfills, as well.
Hains study suggests that waste from the recycling industry is being sent to landfilling facilities, where it can contribute to the release of toxic gases into the atmosphere.
Leung says it’s possible that the plastic in products like plastic drawstrings and plastic sheets can also end up being recycled into new products, but she says it remains to be seen if that’s true.
Plastic is not the only waste product Hahn is concerned about.
“One of the problems we’ve been seeing with the plastics is that they’re used for food, and people