February 26, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Rhiannon, Week 2

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Is there any way (in the UK) to source a probiotic vegan yogurt plastic-free or at least in types 1, 2, or 4 which my local council will recycle?

Location:Leeds, United Kingdom

Name: Rhiannon

Week: 2

Personal Info:

See last week.

Rhiannon’s personal blog:

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

Total items collected: 81

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 milk bottle
1 pancake mix bottle
1 Sunland orange juice bottle
1 ordinary coke bottle and 1 which is a ‘PlantBottle’, i.e. part-plant-based
1 tray from avacado packet

Items: Nonrecyclable
Lots of things I thought were recyclable! It turns out, on consulting the website, that the kerbside collection shouldn’t include several things I had previously been adding to it, including two items we use regularly: tomato ketchup and vegan yogurt.

Also in this week’s collection:
lots of packets: chocolate buttons, oven chips, crisps, flapjacks and other bakery things, vegan cheese, tofu, vegan sausages.
lids: lids from glass jars, lids from otherwise recyclable plastic bottles.
online ordering packets, e.g. jiffy bags, and other postal kit, e.g. envelope windows.
medication blister packs.

Items I’m unsure about:
Heinz ketchup bottles don’t have a number on them at all.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
In theory I could bake my own flapjacks etc, although I might struggle to source plastic-free ingredients. Similarly with ketchup and other food – home-made oven chips from Abel & Cole potatos which arrive in a paper bag would be an improvement.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Um… I can’t really answer this question, giving up any of these foodstuffs would need to be a consensus with my housemates.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Medications. Some foods central to a healthy diet.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Finding time to cook more, and to travel further to buy plastic-free ingredients, might help.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
What I really want to give up is ‘being sent junk mail with plastic windows on it’, but I’ve no idea how to achieve that.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
We’ve been mis-sorting the recycling for some time (which I suspected but hadn’t checked in detail). Many things I thought were recyclable are not.