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February 9, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Pat Clancy, Week 1

 

Week-1

I’d like to know what some items are made of – what kind of plastic, and whether it can be recycled. Food and medicine packaging are everywhere every day, and much of it goes in the trash because I can’t identify it.

Location:Lisle, Illinois, United States

Name: Pat Clancy

Week: 1

Personal Info:

I am female, age 70, and my 45-yr-old son shares my house. I am retired from freelance court reporting, now use my home office to pursue personal interests. I am an organic gardener and native plant landscaper. I’ve been recycling as much as possible since the ’70s and compost my kitchen waste.

Pat Clancy’s personal blog:

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

Total items collected: 32

Total weight: 4 oz.

Items: Recyclable
1- Plastic bag from potatoes – recycled with grocery bags (not sure)
2- Clamshell from small tomatoes – #1 plastic, curbside recycling
3- Plastic container & top from grated cheese #1 plastic, curbside recycling
4- Styrofoam packing block from on-line purchase (digital recorder) Recycled at DART Container in Aurora, IL
5- Three small plastic bags, one foamy, all marked #4 – curbside recycling
6 – Two ziplock plastic bags, one from tortillas, one unknown product – reused until shabby and then recycled with grocery bags (not sure)

Items: Nonrecyclable
1- Plastic bag from potatoes – recycled with grocery bags (not sure)
2,3 -Two ziplock plastic bags, one from tortillas, one unknown product – reused until shabby and then recycled with grocery bags (not sure)
4 – Shiny plastic bag from salmon filet, purchased by my son but I loved it
5 – Two-part cap cut from a carton of soup
6 – Unmarked plastic liner from a gift box of fudge
7 – 14 small envelopes from Dr. Weil vitamin program, unmarked
8 – Plastic seal from a bottle of mouthwash
9,10 – Two plastic seals from cartons of cheese or yogurt
11 – Shiny plastic envelope from dog treats
12 – One piece of plastic film (Glad Wrap)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
I could buy potatoes in bulk but organic ones are pre-packaged in bags where I shop.
I usually avoid buying tomatoes out of season; my son bought these and I used them.
I could have bought the recorder at a store and avoided the packaging.
Soup in cans instead of Tetra Pak
Vitamins always come in some kind of plastic container; not sure whether the bottles would be less wasteful. (I want to find out if these little packages are recyclable.)
I could grate my own cheese and make my own yogurt.
I could buy dog treats that come in cardboard boxes.
I could buy fish and meat from the butcher to avoid packaging.

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

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Vitamins always come in some kind of plastic container
Mouthwash is always in plastic bottles

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I would have to shop somewhere else to avoid plastic packaging of meat and produce as well as numerous plastic bags, etc. in the grocery items.

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
This is hard.

Read all posts by: Illinois,Pat Clancy,United States

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