May 20, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Sarah Fleming, Week 1

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Is cellophane plastic? Can it be recycled? Which is better if you have the choice?

Location:Sandwell, United Kingdom

Name: Sarah Fleming

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I’m a 28 year old female working at the University of Birmingham, I live with my partner in the West Midlands Borough of Sandwell. Our council has a weekly recycling collection which includes plastics but the neighbouring councils of Dudley and Birmingham do not currently collect plastic.

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

Several plastic bags, I made sure I had bags with me whenever I went shopping.

Total items collected: 8

Total weight: 79g

Items: Recyclable
cup #6
cup #5
bowl #6
take-out container #5

Local council recycles these items but I am going to reuse them first.

Items: Nonrecyclable
Toilet roll packaging
Bread roll packaging- I think this is cellophane.
The two condiment pots

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Plastic cups! These were both acquired whilst at work. I have washed them and put them in my locker to use in the future. I am also going to take a glass with me on Monday morning so that when these eventually split I will have something else to drink out of. The plastic bowl also came from work (there was a leaving party and a birthday party this week!) I am going to take my own plate/bowl and cutlery in too so I am prepared for any future events with food.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I could easily give up all of these items.
*The plastic container transported leftovers from a meal at a restaurant. In future we could make sure we were hungry enough before going out so that we ate all the food there and then, or order less!
*I’m sure I can find somewhere to by loose toilet rolls (they’ll probably be cheaper too)
*The two little plastic condiment pots came with some pizza we ordered even though we didn’t ask for it. I’m not going to by pizza from that company again.
*The other piece of plastic had a couple of bread rolls in, but I think this may be cellophane. It makes a crinkly sound when crunched up.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
None this week but I’m sure I’m going to come across some as the weeks go on.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I can take my own bags to but loose bread from the bakers.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
All of these!

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Eating and drinking have accumulated the most plastic waste for me this week.

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