October 26, 2010

Cheryl D., Week 1

Cheryl's  plastic waste

Name: Cheryl

Week: 1

Personal Info:
NSW, Australia. Female, sharing with two cats this week. Write from home.

Total items: 21 (including lids)

Total weight: 196g (6.9 ounces)

Items: Recyclable
Cream carton – 6
Vitamin jar – 1

These items go via my recycling bin to the council recycling depot. Can’t find out via the net where it might go from there.

Items: Nonrecyclable
CD container top and bottom #6
Yogurt container top and bottom #6
Lid to cream container
Toothpaste tube
Lid and ring from vitamin container
Tomato paste tub
Peanut bag
Black section x 2 from meat tray
Plastic wrap x 3 from meat trays and veg
Ballpoint pen
Clips from veg x 3

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Buy all veg from market to avoid plastic tags and wraps, (and rubber bands). Buy vitamins in glass only. Go back to making my own yoghurt. Buy tomato paste in glass jar (already did to replace the tub).Go back to my parker pen. (Still some plastic in the refills I think). Read this website for more ideas to replace other items.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic-free alternative doesn’t exist?
I can do all of the above, plus I’d give up the peanuts. I’d prefer to have fresh nuts anyway.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I am hypoglycemic and so need meat and the cream in my diet. I will search out cream with alternative packaging and speak to the butcher who packs the organic meat I buy to see if he can minimise what he uses. I also use a specific toothpaste for drymouth, so think that would be hard to give up too. I already buy CDs in bulk and don’t use many, so not sure what alternatives I might have there.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Plan my shopping trips to co-incide with the local farmers market every week. Make time to make my own yoghurt again.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Already bought the next tomato paste in a glass jar.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I created more plastic than I realised I would. I should know where the recycled goods go from the council depot. It might be tougher than I thought to give up all plastic in today’s world, however I am now armed with more information to write to food producers to see if changes can be made.

2 comments
cheryl
cheryl

Thanks for the feedback Beth, much appreciated. I have a fountain pen so I'll use up the biros I have here and then move to your suggestion. On the meat suggestion, I buy half a calf at a time (organic from a property near me), so much goes into the freezer. Will search your site for alternatives to freezing in plastic. Thanks for a great site and I'm about to sort out a the dog/cat item for Scrubby Bush - thanks for the sharing.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Cheryl, your plastic waste really is minimal compared to most people's, and it's great that you are so aware of every bit of plastic.

I have a pen suggestion for you. First of all, I use pencils for day-to-day notes, etc. When I need a pen, I use a refillable fountain pen with a converter cartridge that allows me to refill it from a glass bottle of ink. That might be too extreme for you, and that's fine. The next best are the refillable cartridge pens.

This post contains info about my pen: http://fakeplasticfish.com/2007/08/reducing-plastic-waste-in-workplace/

As for the butcher, will he let you bring your own container? That's what we do. I'm a vegetarian, but my cats are not. We bring a big stainless steel bucket to the butcher and they fill it up with ground meat. It's a great conversation starter.