We’re getting a cat! Okay, I’ll get on with the weekly tally. But keep in mind, we’re getting a cat!
Non-recyclable items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
- 5 Refresh Endura single-use eye drop containers (#4 plastic).
- Cap & sprayer from a can of CHI Infra Texture Hair Spray. As I mentioned last week, I tried to make my own hairspray out of lemons and vodka, which didn’t work too well. I don’t need hairspray very often, but it would be nice to find an alternative.
- 1 spray pump from a spray can that had become completely corroded. The can was metal and had rusted through. Now what can I do with the plastic sprayer?
- 1 piece of clear packing tape.
- 1 broken juicer top. This plastic juicer sat atop a glass jar that is now broken. I have another juicer, so I don’t need this one, although it could still be used atop any glass container. Anyone want it? I’ll send it to you!
- 1 16-oz bottle and cap of Citre Shine style and shine gel (#3 plastic.) As I wrote in my Nov 13 post, #3 plastic is PVC, once of the most toxic plastics in existence. I’ll be sending this half-full bottle along with the next item on the list back to the company with a note.
- 1 16-oz bottle and cap of LA Looks extra superhold styling gel (#3 plastic.) Both LA Looks and Citre Shine are made by the Henkel Corporation. I am sending both of these back to the company with a letter explaining the problems of PVC and requesting that they switch to a less toxic alternative. In my research today, I discovered that the company is putting some of its product in #1 PETE containers, but other bottles are still made from #3 PVC. More details on my findings below.
- 1 12.43-oz bottle and cap of La Paila Dulce de Leche caramel sauce (#3 plastic.) I haven’t researched this one yet. If I find that the company is still selling these in PVC containers, I’ll send this back with a note. Otherwise, I’ll take it to the toxic waste dump the next time I go.
- 1 3.75-oz bottle and cap of Sun Luck toasted sesame seeds (#3 plastic.) Same story as the caramel sauce. Have to find out if the company is still selling these in PVC.
And that’s all the old stuff. Now for the new plastic waste.
- 1 wrapper from a block of Springhill Cheese Company white cheddar.
- # 1 plastic cork from a bottle of Boissonneau Chateau Moulin de Ferrand Bordeaux Blanc. I have 3 bottles left. Once they’re gone, I’ll try to find only bottles with natural cork stoppers..
That’s it for the week.
I went on a field trip to Long’s Drugs today to find out whether Citre Shine and LA Looks styling gels are still sold in #3 PVC bottles or if the company had switched to less toxic plastic. I found some mixed results:
LA Looks: the smaller bottles, 500ml and lower, are in #1 PETE bottles; however, the larger 750ml pump bottles are still #3 PVC.
Citre Shine gel still comes in #3 PVC.
I found other brands of styling gel in #3 PVC bottles, including Long’s Mega Hold styling gel, Queen Helene megahold styling gel, Dep 550ml pump (the smaller size is in #1 PETE), and La Bella 22 oz.
In the aisle of African American hair products, I found that most of the styling gels and pomades are in #5 Polypropylene containers except for the activators (Long Aid, Smooth ‘n Shine, Worlds of Curls) which are in #6 polystyrene. Polystyrene is what Styrofoam is made from, but as used in these containers, it looks just like clear PETE or PVC.
So I guess the point is that if we are going to buy products in plastic containers, the least we can do is look at the number in the triangle at the bottom of the bottle to make sure we’re using the least toxic alternative. Choose products packaged in #1, #2, #4, and #5 containers and avoid those in #3, #6, and #7 (unless the #7 is biodegradable.)
And finally, as I mentioned above, we’re getting a cat! We finally mustered up the courage today to ask our landlord if we could have a cat, and he said yes. We’re hoping to have one of these cats that our friends found in their basement and have been fostering until they are adoptable. I’m wondering if they’ll actually be able to give any of them up when the time comes. If not, we’ll find another kitty to adopt.
I visited Pet Food Express today to find out what kinds of cat necessities can be purchased plastic-free. (For example, there’s a type of cat litter made of wheat that is flushable and comes in a paper bag.) I’ve requested a cat litter box on Freecycle. Any other suggestions?