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September 15, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Margaret, Week 10

 

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Location:Tualatin, Oregon, United States

Name: Margaret

Week: 10

Personal Info:

I live in an apartment with my cat. We’re in a metropolitan area outside the city, that’s not really suburbia, but not really urban.

Margaret’s personal blog: http://weighingthewaste.blogspot.com/

Total items: 39

Total weight: 32.5 ounces

Items: Recyclable
Curbside recyclable

*Ketchup bottle used up (lid is non-curbside recyclable) – replaced with a glass bottle with metal lid

Other recyclable

*Clamshell from New Seasons bakery department (#6) – dessert while my parents were visiting
*Clamshell from Olive Garden (#5) – I own two collapsible tupperware bowls to keep in my purse for such scenarios. Somehow they’re never in my purse when I go out to eat.
*Tofu container (#2) (film cover not recyclable)
*Bag from packaging for new salad spinner – as a great example of my kitchen skills, I set the lid of my salad spinner on a burner that had just been turned off. The bowls are still usable, either to keep or give to Goodwill.
*2 styrofoam blocks from packaging for new blender.
*5 bags from packaging for new blender
*BB&B gift card

Items: Nonrecyclable
*Melted lid from salad spinner
*Drink lid from Subway (I didn’t take a straw)
*Straw from somewhere else (Olive Garden, maybe?)
*Tea bag wrapper
*2 lid seals from ice cream containers
*6 produce stickers
*3 lint roller sheets
*Torn nylon knee-high
*Stamp book backing – I don’t mail much; I think I had this book of stamps for about a year. Mostly I mail back junk mail and the occasional birthday card to relatives.
*Netflix envelope seal strip
*Wrapping from box of canning jars – to store more bulk items and freeze fruits and veggies
*Sticker and little piece of foam padding from packaging for new salad spinner
*One small plastic bag from something
*3 plastic twist ties – must have been from the blender?
*Film cover over buttons on new blender
*The dumbest piece of plastic ever invented: “disassembly tool” provided with the blender in case the blade component is screwed on too tightly. But only for use when you first receive the blender. Now, I understand (loathe, but understand) when a company generates a problem, and then manufactures the solution to make more money. But in this case, the company creates the problem, then creates a solution and includes it for free. They say the blades shouldn’t be over-tightened, so you’re not even supposed to use this tool to tighten or loosen the blades later. Why can’t they just err on the side of too loose? The instructions say to wash the blender before using, which most people would probably do anyway, so it’s not like people will just start using it with the blades not attached correctly.

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Ice cream – need to work on that

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
I expected the blender would have styrofoam and plastic bags – but that stupid tool, how do you watch out for something like that?

The little strips on netflix envelope seals – not all of netflix’s options are on instant play, some you can only get on DVD. I should put more effort into looking at the public library. They actually have quite an extensive DVD collection.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Remember to carry things like take out containers in my purse

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?

Read all posts by: Margaret in Oregon,Oregon,United States

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1 comments
Beth Terry
Beth Terry

The little strip on the Netflix envelope is actually coated with silicone. I contacted Netflix and asked. Now, silicone IS a polymer, but its backbone is silicon rather than carbon. Still, there is some carbon added to it in the polymerization process, which probably comes from fossil fuels. All this to say that silicone is in a weird category and everyone must decide for themselves whether to include it in their plastic tally or not. It's definitely waste. And as far as I know, it won't biodegrade. I'm wondering if the backing of stamps is the same material. I'm just nit-picking here! I've had similar experiences mixing hot burners and plastic: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/03/sweet-smell-of-burning-plastic/