3.7 oz Plastic Waste [3.2 oz new/.5 oz acquired prior to June 2007]
I’ll get to October’s plastic tally in a minute, but first, a little story…
I finally got to deduct some items from my plastic collection! Every couple of months I end up with a plastic bottle of Balance IT cat supplement, which we use in our homemade cat food. I’m fairly okay with that plastic bottle because the homemade food is so much healthier for Soots and Arya and because we only go through one every couple of months. Carrying our own stainless steel pot to the butcher shop for ground meat means we avoid all the cans and bags we would have wasted buying processed food.
Still, the supplement automatically comes with two new plastic scoops in each bottle.
Two scoops every two months might not seem like much plastic when you consider that all the scoops pictured up above (from multiple years) only weigh 2.1 ounces. But what irritates me is that just like the plastic scoop you get in a box of laundry detergent, they are totally unnecessary. Who needs new ones with every bottle? Why can’t we keep one set and use it over and over?
I’ve written to BalanceIT but received no response, so last month I picked up the phone and called. The rep insisted it would be too hard to leave the scoops out of the bottle, but frankly I can’t see why the company doesn’t just sell them separately and add them to the order form on the web site. That way, people who want them can opt in. But no. And I don’t have the time or energy to push it. So, changing the way the scoops are sold apparently not being an option, I asked if the company would reuse them if I sent them back. And the rep said yes they would. So today I mailed those suckers back.
I’m hoping he was right and that they won’t just end up in the trash or recycle bin (which is just a roundabout way to the landfill because community recycling programs will not actually recycle stuff like this.) But I think I’ve made my point and will continue to send them back. With that step taken, I’m deducting .9 ounces (the weight of the scoops used this year) from last month’s tally. It’s not the amount of plastic in question here but the principle of reducing waste at the source. Why is it up to communities to deal with trash that should never have been created in the first place?
Beth’s October plastic waste collection
Plastic purchased before June 15 2007 and used up in the last month (.5 oz):
- 3 plastic cards. One membership card from the now defunct Blockbuster Video, one from Stacey’s Books (another out-of-business store), and a plastic card from my old AT&T Wireless account. Read more here about what gift cards are made from and how they can be recycled.
- Bubble wrap from a new full spectrum light bulb. I actually bought that extra lightbulb for a special lamp over three years ago and haven’t had to replace the old one until now. What’s more, the old one still worked until a little black furry monster broke it. I supposed I should have shown the plastic parts of the bulb in this tally, but they’ve gone to light bulb recycling heaven.
New plastic waste (3.2 oz):
- 2 vials of Frontline flea treatment for cats. Read about our flea dilemma here.
- 2 plastic envelope windows from bank notices.Learn about what plastic envelope windows are made from. And yes, I’ve requested online access, but this particular account doesn’t offer it yet.
- Plastic bottle, cap, and foam seal from BalanceIT cat food supplement. Read about our homemade cat food here.
- Plastic packing tape and Fedex packing slip pouch from a new shipment of BalanceIT. I order 4 bottles at a time to reduce packaging material waste.
- Two prescription bottles and caps. This month, I am dead set on finding somewhere to send these back for reuse. I know the Gimme5 program will accept these #5 bottles for recycling. But recycling or reusing them for other purposes doesn’t cut it for me. I want prescription bottles to be reused as prescription bottles. Otherwise, we don’t cut down on the amount of new plastic used to replace them.
- Seal from around the neck of a Ben & Jerry’s pint of coffee heathbar crunch ice cream. I needed it. No I didn’t. Yes I did. No I didn’t! Well, anyway, I had a mini melt down and turned to comfort from sugar and animal fat. It was good but kind of ruined my attempt at veganism for last month. I think maybe I can’t go all the way. Yes I can. No I can’t. We’ll see.
That’s it for last month. If it weren’t for those darned furry beasts in my house, I’d have next to nothing in my tally. It’s their fault. Them and their stupid cuteness. Ooh, listen to those tinkling keys. Arya’s excited by the new piano I got a few weeks ago. And by new, I mean old. A friend gave me her old one, magic marker decorated keys and all. It’s zero waste and super relaxing, which I need right now as I prepare for the TEDx conference this weekend.
Please don’t forget to watch some amazing talks on solutions to the plastic pollution problem, as well as musical performances and some very cool new videos, this Saturday. I’m speaking some time after 1:30pm PST. You can watch right here on Fake Plastic Fish, or at www.TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch.com.