October 15, 2010

Tony Hancock, Ethical Ocean, Week 1

Tony Ethical Ocean plastic waste

Name: Tony Hancock
Week: 1

Personal Info:

I’m Tony from Ethical Ocean (www.ethicalocean.com). I’m a male and live in a house with two other people, and I work on our website from home.

Total items: 11

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
Two pop bottles

Items: Nonrecyclable
One egg container
A bread bag
a Takeout container
Ziploc bags

What items can I replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
The ziploc bags, and definitely the takeout containers.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
N/A

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I’m not sure what to do about eggs. I buy free run eggs, which in Toronto seem to always come in plastic containers rather than paper. I am a firm believer in free run, so I won’t be switching to regular eggs in paper containers…I need to try to find some local suppliers of eggs perhaps.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I think I could stop drinking soda. I don’t normally drink it, so I am a bit surprised there we two bottles this week.

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
Ziploc bags, soda bottle.

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
I seem to have a lot of staples which come in plastic. I should look where I can get alternatives (bread and eggs) as these offenses are repeated every week.

10 comments
Pat Clancy
Pat Clancy

Regarding ziplock bags, I wash and reuse, so they don't go into my count until I have to throw one away. However, we do have a lot of them around. My son buys large ones to freeze his deer meat, and I freeze garden produce in them. Two years ago my son acquired a Foodsaver which is great for freezing things but the plastic is difficult to reuse as you have to cut it open and it gets smaller every time.

Valerie
Valerie

With regards to the eggs, I just recently discovered Vital Farms at Whole Foods.

I'll admit the price is steep, but there's peace of mind, when you know the hens are treated ethically, they are pasture-raised hens. Check out their website to get more info. You get to see hens running around!

The eggs come in cardboard containers. Again price wise they are expensive, but it you compared the cost of a fancy beer in a bar, I'll sacrifice that for a dozen fresh eggs.

I'm not sure who else distributes them, they are planning to expand to other farms, but the word needs to get out there.

http://vitalfarms.com/

Natalie
Natalie

That's true: why is it so hard to find humane eggs in cardboard cartons at the store? I am the opposite of you, Tony. I go for the paper carton, but who knows where my eggs come from?

Have you thought about washing and re-using your Ziploc baggies? It's what I do. They last for a pretty long time until the zipper wears out or they tear. That way you can keep using the bags you already have for a while.

yuki
yuki

I understand you with the free run eggs, I buy only organic free run eggs and I have the chance to buy ones that are produced really near my home and come in a paper container. I know that one year ago they came in plastic, maybe your producer will switch eventually and maybe you can contact them to express your opinion about that. You are their costumer, they will be glad to hear from you!

Good luck!

Melissa @ HerGreenLife
Melissa @ HerGreenLife

Do reusable plastic containers count as an alternative to plastic baggies? I know they'll wear out eventually and contribute to the plastic trash tally, and I don't necessarily suggest going out and buying more, but if you happen to have some already (as I do), perhaps using them would not be the worst thing in the world? Any kind of a container (metal or plastic) works much better for sandwiches because, unlike a baggy, your sandwich won't get smashed.

We've switched almost entirely to making our own bread (this would be a BIG step for most people, I know). However, we store the bread in reused plastic bread bags, and I don't know what we'll do when those wear out.

Jana
Jana

Tony,

Good job on reducing plastic. I second the LunchBots. I bit the bullet and bought some through Amazon. LOVE them. The sandwich size is perfect for packing lunches. I also pack items for my husband's lunch in 4 oz. canning jars as well as some 8 oz jars. The canning jars are really thick and tough and can take the beating in his soft sided lunch box. Try them soon before canning jars are gone from the stores - they take them out for Winter.

Alyssa Lee
Alyssa Lee

Hi, Tony! I definitely agree and have the same problem with eggs and bread and milk. Surprisingly, none of these were available at the farmers market nearby and the people I live with discourage me from going there, saying it's too expensive for us right now. I enjoy that Trader Joe's always sells the eggs in paper, but the bread remains a problem. I've gone without sandwich bread for a while as a result, but I hope you find an alternative! And yay for not drinking soda! I never drink soda either, and I always go nuts when I see someone throw one in the trash, and I even offer to take it from them to recycle them myself. If the people in your house are diehard soda people, I've heard that a Sodastream maker is a great alternative and many people have posted their own recipes for soda mixes (instead of buying the ones the company sells). I wish you luck!

Tony
Tony

Beth,

Good call on the eggs, there is a farmers market every Thursday by my house, I missed it this week but will have to check next week.

The plastic bags were baggies filled with leftovers for Canadian thanksgiving. In hindsight, I could have definitely used some tupperware or similar. What do you use for sandwiches?

The bread is a good point too. I like some pretty specific ancient grain bread, I think it is just a matter of finding a bakery that bakes it.

Tony

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Tony! It looks like you are doing a good job already. I agree that the baggies could go right off the bat. What do you use them for? Maybe I can suggest an alternative.

As for eggs, do you have a local farmers market selling eggs? At our farmers market the eggs come in a cardboard container and the farmer actually takes them back and reuses them!

We get bread in paper bags from local bakeries. Do you have access to anything like that?

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Tony. For sandwiches, I like LunchBots (http://lunchbots.com) stainless steel containers because they are the right shape. Other people use cloth baggies, like Graze Organics. I'm actually planning a post on cloth lunchwraps soon.