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Year 2, Week 28 Results: 8.8 oz of plastic waste.
Posted By Beth Terry On December 29, 2008 @ 5:04 pm In Electronics,Plastic Packaging,Plastic Tally 2009-01-15,Weekly Results 2008 | 16 Comments
Well, we can’t say I didn’t end the year with a bang. Look at all that plastic, most of which was acquired new. And some of which is exactly the kind of packaging I routinely rail against. But I have
excuses explanations for all of it, I assure you!
First, plastic used up this week that was purchased before the plastic project began:
New plastic waste:
Here’s the deal. I’m registered with several research companies to attend focus groups for a fee. Being opinionated has its rewards. So a few weeks ago, I got a call from one of these firms offering $200 plus a free camera for me to spend 45-60 minutes making a video of myself in my kitchen, discussing the products I buy and tools I use and then finally sharing my thoughts about a particular brand of organic canned food. It sounded like fun. I didn’t think much about plastic when I agreed to do it. I believe they called during the office Christmas party, and I’d already had a glass of wine.
So the camera arrives in the packaging you see in the photo. Crap. I considered sending it back and backing out of the project. After all, the camera itself is plastic and made who knows where (Wait… let me see… it’s made in… China! Big surprise.) and I wouldn’t need it if I would get around to having my bigger expensive video camera repaired (although, to be fair, the big expensive camera requires plastic DV cartridges, whereas the Flip doesn’t require any additional media cartridges or cards at all.) Blah blah blah. I was ready to send it back, and then the light bulb went off in my head.
This project could be a perfect way for me to let this particular organic foods company know how I feel, as one of their customers. To let them see a nearly zero waste kitchen, and to address the issue of BPA in their cans! I would not be sending just an email or letter, but a whole video explaining what people like me need and want. And it would not be seen by a customer service rep but a marketing department interested in what I have to say! So I decided to keep the camera and go through with the project. The extra money in no way influenced my decision. (Okay, of course it did. In the interest of full disclosure, I’d really love to have an extra $200!)
I completed the video last night and am uploading it now. (It’s taking hours to upload.) Tomorrow, I’ll post parts of it here… the parts I can show. I probably am not allowed to tell you the name of the research company or organic foods brand, but just keep in mind that when it comes to BPA, all food cans are lined with it (organic or not) with the single exception of Eden Organic  beans. The brand in the study is not Eden Organic.
If you buy beans or veggies or tomato paste in cans, consider writing a letter to the company and asking them to find an alternative to BPA.
The night lights (yes, plastic) are actually really cool. Light sensors allow them to come on only when the room is dark… an energy saver for people like us who forget to turn off our night lights in the morning. And they use much less energy than the CFL we leave on in the kitchen so as not to kill ourselves in the dark. And much less than the incandescent night light bulb in the bedroom.
But isn’t it ironic that a product created to save energy is made from so much plastic and packaged in still more plastic? I’ll be writing two letters tomorrow… to Flip Video and to Feit Electric. I’ll post them here, of course.
Oh, and one more thing about clamshells. Check out the benefits as listed by Blisters.com . I love number 3: Adds value to product. Really? In what universe? These packages are so hard to open, there’s now a special tool  you can buy just for the purpose. Exactly what value do you think they mean?
Okay. This year is almost finished. If I have a chance this weekend, I’ll photograph and post one shot of my 2008 new plastic waste. It all fits into one big cat litter bag. I was hoping to keep it under 5 pounds for the year, but those wacky clamshells this week put me over the top. Here’s hoping 2009 is even lighter!
Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com
URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/12/year-2-week-28-results-88-oz-of-plastic/
URLs in this post:
 Flip Video camera: http://www.theflip.com/products.shtml
 Eden Organic: http://www.edenfoods.com/about/environment.php
 3-pack of LED night lights: http://www.feitelectric.com/eternalite/eternalite.html
 Blisters.com: http://www.blisters.com/clamshellpackaging.html
 special tool: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-9692568-1.html
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