July 18, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Marianne Davis, Week 4

plasticchallengeweek4

Where should I start with a letter writing campaign to city officials to ban plastic bags and styrofoam containers? The mayor?

Location:Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

Name: Marianne Davis

Week: 4

Personal Info:

Married, no kids, and working on our waste while converting our yard to a fruit and vegetable garden.

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)

Took containers to the local Italian deli to purchase olives and feta cheese, with no problems.

Took my plate to the food court again.

Bought the Penguin Sodastream this week – yay! No more tonic water bottles in our house.

Total items collected: 50

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
3 tonic water bottles
1 half and half carton

Items: Nonrecyclable
2 pill bottles
1 carton Ben and Jerry’s
1 bag of Chana Dal (Indian pulse) – haven’t seen it in bulk anywhere
1 lemon juice bottle (used for canning tomatoes)
2 zip ties from packaging on new kitchen utensil
1 worn out pen
1 ziploc plastic bag that contained nematodes (used for fighting squash vine borers in our garden)
1 milk bottle top
7 orbit wrappers
Approximately 30 small pieces of plastic – candy wrappers, seals on jars, etc.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Have already replaced milk and cream cartons with glass bottles, so we won’t be seeing any more of those.

And as you can see in the picture, we now have the SodaStream to replace our tonic water bottles.

I’ll replace the lemon juice bottle with fresh lemons.

Eventually we’ll work our way through our pens, and replace with the pen you recommend.

My husband is experimenting with different hard candies that have better packaging, like Necco wafers…

And once we’ve used up our last coupon for a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s, we’ll either buy cones or make our own.

Oh and not pictured is a mayonnaise jar, because I’m going to reuse it to store our own home-made mayonnaise. Same with mustard.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Most everything

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Vitamins
Garden supplies (such as nematodes, chicken manure, etc.)

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We’re making them!

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Lentils in plastic bags

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
We’re getting better, and have made some significant changes over the past month. However, because there is already so much plastic in the house, it will take a while to see the full impact on our weekly challenges.

1 comments
BethTerry
BethTerry

Hi Marianne!  

 

The Plastic Pollution Coalition has put together a great list of resources for starting a plastic bag ban campaign:

 

http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/projects/plastic-free-towns/

 

To start an anti-plastic bag campaign, you can contact ChicoBag for help:  advocacy@chicobag.com

 

You can also contact the Bag It Town team about starting a plastic bag ban campaign:

 

http://www.bagitmovie.com/bagittown.html

 

Clean Water Action is actively working on styrofoam bans.  Here is their Phase Out Foam page with lots of links. You could contact someone at Clean Water Action and ask what you could do to get started in your community:

 

http://www.cleanwateraction.org/feature/phase-out-foam-additional-information-sb-568#local%20bans

 

Here's the Minnesota staff directory:  http://www.cleanwateraction.org/state_focus/mn/staff

 

You could also reach out to the Sierra Club:

 

http://minnesota.sierraclub.org/

 

Environment Minnesota:

 

http://www.environmentminnesota.org/