Every night I use one or two of these tiny single-use plastic vials of Refresh Endura eye drops and then throw them away (now, in my plastic purgatory, of course.) And each night I hope as I close my eyes that the drops will work and I’ll be able to open my eyes pain-free the next morning. I have a chronic condition called recurrent corneal erosion, and Refresh Endura drops are the only thing I’ve found, amid all the different drops and ointments and treatments that will work to keep it at bay.
Those who don’t use eye drops might be wondering why they don’t come in a bigger multi-use bottle that would use less plastic. The answer is that then the drops would have to contain preservatives to keep organisms from growing in them. Organisms that could cause blindness from an eye infection. Preservatives that can be very irritating and to which many people are sensitive or allergic.
So, here’s a case where I think the use of plastic… Read the rest
03/25/2008 UPDATE: Warning to those who would order Lush products through the mail. I have had several reports from readers who ordered what they thought would be naked chunks of shampoo or deodorant, only to have them arrive wrapped up in a ton of plastic. So either be very specific in your ordering instructions that you don’t want any plastic packaging, or don’t order from Lush. Reading the comments on my updated 03/24/08 blog post might be helpful to you.
When you walk into a Lush Cosmetics store, (there is one at 240 Powell Street in San Francisco, as well as locations throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world) you are greeted not by rows and rows of products packaged in plastic (as you are when you enter The Body Shop, for example), but by big unwrapped chunks of solid soap as well as shampoo, deodorant, bubble bath, and massage oil. That’s right, big solid chunks of these things! They are sold by weight. You tell the staff how much… Read the rest
Good news reported in yesterday’s Oakland Tribune:
The Oakland City Council Tuesday banned petroleum-based nonbiodegradable shopping bags in an effort to reduce the amount of waste Oakland sends to landfills and prevent the plastic bags from polluting the environment.
The ban would apply to stores with gross annual sales of more than $1million, which would include all supermarkets and chain drug stores.
However, the measure would not apply to restaurants or fast food eateries.
“It’s a good first small step,” said Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown). “It’s not going to solve all of the problems in the world.”
The new law does not apply to the sacks provided by grocery stores to bag fresh fruit and vegetables or meat, only those bags shoppers get at the check stand.
So, this ban does not address the problem of all the plastic bags used for bulk foods at stores like Berkeley Bowl.… Read the rest
KAMPALA, July 1 (Reuters) – A ban on plastic bags in Uganda took effect on Sunday to cut down the stinking piles of rubbish that litter its dusty capital and other urban areas, breeding germs and poisoning water supplies.
Officials want Ugandans to instead use banana leaves, the traditional material for carrying goods.
Uganda’s ban followed a similar one on Tanzania’s Zanzibar islands last year. There have also been moves in both Kenya and mainland Tanzania to raise duties on plastic bags, which dot Africa’s urban and rural landscapes with depressing regularity.
Ugandan Finance Minister Ezra Suruma announced the ban on “buveera” — polythene bags in the local Luganda dialect — during his budget speech last month in the east African nation.
“Due to serious environmental concerns and the difficulties in the disposal of polythene bags and plastic containers,… Read the rest
Overwhelming, the amount of plastic that we have in our house. And embarassing this week to admit the kind of toilet paper that we’ve been buying: Jumbo packs of Quilted Northern from Costco. Oh the shame of it! Many plastic-wrapped 6-packs of toilet paper inside a huge outer wrap of plastic. And individually wrapped rolls of paper towels inside another huge outer wrapper. Think of all the old-growth forests destroyed so these could exist. It’s going to take us quite a while to use it all up.
So, once again, here is the tally of items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
First, plastic wrappers, bags, and other non-recyclable plastic:
3 Kashi granola bar wrappers. These are all gone and I’ve switched to eating cereal in the morning.
2 Whole Treats Belgian Chocolates Little Bites candy wrappers. A few more of these left in the candy bowl.
1 17.6 oz. Garofalo spaghetti wrapper. Another purchase from Costco.… Read the rest