July 8, 2009

Counting My Plastic Waste: Week 2

Counting My Plastic Waste: Week 2

Here are the results of my second week cataloging and saving all my plastic waste. Despite the long list, it’s a big improvement over last week’s results.

Non-recyclable1 bag of feline pine cat litter2 shopping bags4 small plastic bags, 2 plastic molded forms, a software cd, a hang tag and a plastic security tag from my new camera1molded plastic form from scissors1 plastic cover for the father’s day card I bought several weeks ago but still didn’t mail on time1 #6 plastic cup from a club1 plastic cup from brunch at a friend’s house1 tiny ziploc bag and plastic hanger that contained extra buttons1 plastic planter1 herb marker1 broken clothespin2 ziploc bags1 bag that held coconut2 #6 containers and plastic wrappers that held shiitake mushrooms1 plastic top and seal from a box of raisins1 plastic bag that held muffin mixplastic wrap from cheese1 Soyjoy wrapper1 licorice wrapper1 fruit leather wrapper

Recyclable1… Read the rest

June 22, 2009

Kathryn McGrath: One Week of Plastic Waste

Kathryn McGrath: One Week of Plastic Waste

I work for the NRDC in New York and often write stories about making more sustainable choices on NRDC’s green living site, simplesteps.org. As you’d expect, I avoid disposable packaging and buying plastic items, or so I thought until I started dragging all my plastic trash home with me.

I stayed true to the spirit of scientific inquiry and didn’t avoid plastic despite my growing dismay at the pile accumulating in the kitchen. Once you begin setting aside your plastic trash you being to see plastic everywhere. Because it IS everywhere. My bag of plastic trash was larger than the week’s other garbage, which doesn’t include food scraps.

At the end of the week my plastic refuse covered the dining table, filled two bags and filled me with dread.

I was surprised at the amount of plastic that came from food purchases. In the photo below, most of the plastic on the right is food-related. And I’ll admit, sometimes it’s… Read the rest