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. I have 4 more packages to use up.
- 1 Cabot reserve cheddar cheese wrapper. Still haven’t figured out where to get cheddar cheese without plastic. See discussion of the cheese shop at Market Hall.
- 1 Oroweat English muffins bag. I believe English muffins only come in plastic, so I’ll be giving these up.
- 7 Emergen-C packets. Just going to give this up as soon as it’s gone. Gave away a full box of these on Oakland Freecycle this week and only have a couple packets left.
- 1 plastic wrapper from a box of Trader Joe’s savory thins crackers. Going to switch to Wasa crackers, which come wrapped in waxed paper.
- About 4 feet of used packing tape. Came from another one of our old moving boxes.
- 2 unidentifiable clear plastic wrappers. Found these while cleaning a closet.
- 1 broken 48 oz. Lamarle tupperware-like container. This container has no number on it, so it’s impossible to tell what kind of plastic it is and whether or not it can be recycled.
- 3 pieces of plastic from iPod accessory packaging.
- 9 Refresh Endura single-use eyedrop containers. I wrote to Allergan this week to find out what kind of plastic it is. They have not yet responded.
- 27 expired Refresh Plus single-use eyedrop containers. I found these while cleaning out a drawer. This kind doesn’t work for me, so I just had to empty them out. Since they were expired, I couldn’t Freecycle them.
- 1 plastic mount from a Venus shaver cartridge container. Found while cleaning out the same drawer.
- 1 tiny plastic palette and spatula from a container of Jolen Cream Bleach. Found in the same drawer. Don’t know why I ever bought this. The container of bleach itself went into my household hazardous waste bag.
- 1 outer wrapper from a 6-pack of 6-pack rolls of Quilted Northern toilet paper. Will be switching to paper-wrapped recycled toilet paper when these are all gone. Haven’t decided which brand yet.
- 1 wrapper from a 6-pack of Quilted Northern toilet paper. See above.
- 1 outer wrapper from a 12-pack of individually wrapped rolls of Kirkland Signature paper towels. Haven’t found paper towels not wrapped in plastic. Don’t know what to do about these yet.
- 1 piece of purple ribbon from gift-wrapping. Found while cleaning.
- 1 outer wrapper from a Clearly Natural glycerin soap 3-pack. Will be switching to unwrapped soap.
- 1 Walgreen’s plastic grocery bag with holes in it. Not reusable.
- 1 Middle East Baking Co. whole wheat pita bag. I believe pitas only come in plastic bags, so no more pitas for me.
- 1 piece of plastic from a Kirkland Signature facial tissue box. This one came from work. Yes, I’m holding myself responsible for the plastic I use at work, too.
Now for the recyclable plastic items:
- 2 #1 CA Redemption Value bottles: A 1.25 litre Crystal Geyser bottle and a 1 litre Calistoga bottle. I have one more Crystal Geyser bottle, and then I’ll be switching to glass. Michael will take these to Safeway for the money.
- #2 plastic: 1 12-oz, bottle of expired Rite Aid saline solution. Michael can recycle this at work.
That’s it for the waste from items purchased before the plastic project began. Okay, now for this week’s brand new plastic waste.
- 2 plastic films from frozen dinners — Organic Bistro and Seeds of Change. Both of these meals are great, the trays are cardboard, and they only contain one thin film of plastic over the top. Am still purchasing them for the time being.
- 1 Silk soy milk spout and cap.
- 1 inner liner from cheddar cheese from Market Hall. See discussion of the cheese shop at Market Hall.
- 2 plastic drinking straws. Both of these were thoughtless mistakes! Twice I ordered iced coffee in sit-down restaurants and forgot to ask them not to bring me a straw. The first time, I at least remembered to take the straw home with me to save it from the landfill. The second time, I forgot the straw altogether.
- 2 plastic spoons from Yogurt Park. I forgot about the spoon when I ordered a sundae. Should have ordered a cone. Brought 1 spoon home to reuse. The other spoon was thrown away by the employee because it was “sticky.” She threw it away before I could say anything.
- 1 toothpick with purple plastic on the end. Yeah, it’s small. But it counts. It was stuck in a Specialty’s sandwich. Man, I thought I was safe!
And here is the one plastic item that I purchased this week that is destined for next week’s plastic waste list:
- 1 half gallon carton of Safeway Organics soy milk. I ran out of soy milk and Safeway was the only store open late Sunday night. I still haven’t found plastic-free soy milk anyway.
And that’s all. I did acquire some other plastic items this week: 3 power strips, 1 cutlery tray, and 1 6-pack of little blue bowls. But the power strips came from a guy on Freecycle and the rest came from Goodwill, so it doesn’t count. In fact, this is plastic that I may have saved from a landfill.