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March 2, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Sara Hassan, Week 2

 

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I’m in the market for reusable produce bags and reusable bags for bulk items, like rice. Does anyone have recommendations?

Also, I’ve heard of people washing and reusing ziploc bags, but I haven’t been able to get the bags clean enough to want to reuse them. Any suggestions for doing that?

Location:Murrysville, Pennsylvania, United States

Name: Sara Hassan

Week: 2

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

I refused the lid offered to me for my daughter’s ice cream at Dairy Queen. Really, I should have made her eat the ice cream from a cone rather than the cup!

Total items collected: 34

Total weight: 15 ounces

Items: Recyclable
yogurt cups and lids, #5, curbside pick up
coffee cup lid, #6, curbside pick up
shopping bags, recycled at the grocery store
strawberry container, #1, curbside pick up
milk cartons, curbside pick up
tofu container, curbside pick up
deodorant container, curbside pick up
small plastic container, curbside pick up

Items: Nonrecyclable
miscellaneous wrappers for pasta, ramen noodles, valentines day gift bags

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Milk is available in glass bottles.
I’m using up the last of the little yogurt cups (or rather, my kids are). I bought a large container of yogurt, so I’ll take servings of yogurt from that, rather than the individual cups. The large container is still plastic, but it is less plastic.

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
I’ve replaced deodorant with baking soda.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Yogurt
Tofu

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Taking the time to look for plastic free alternatives.

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
Week 2 was about the same as week 1. I’ve certainly learned more about reducing plastic consumption, and now is the time to translate that learning into actual practice of reducing my plastic consumption.

Read all posts by: Pennsylvania,Sara in PA,United States

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2 comments
Pat Clancy
Pat Clancy

I wash and reuse ziplock bags as well as plastic bags that various food items come packaged in. I guess I haven't worried so much about the leaching issue. I just wash the bags by hand with my dishes and have a wooden rack to hang them on for drying. I am now searching for food that is not packaged in plastic, and it is a challenge. I take the produce bags back to the store and fill them up again from the produce aisle and bulk items like nuts and cereals. I transfer them to other containers when I get home.

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Sara. I personally don't use zip lock bags because I don't know what chemicals are in the plastic. The more a bag is used, the more likely it is to break down and leach chemicals. My current favorite produce/bulk bags are the hemp bags from ChicoBag: http://www.chicobag.com/product/produce-stand-hemp-cotton-3Pack But there are lots of others. ECOBAGS are made from organic cotton. And lots of Etsy sellers make produce/bulk bags.