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August 8, 2013

Plastic Challenge: Ellen and Pedro, Week 6

 

week-6

How do you guys deal with bread spreads…we are vegetarian/vegan and all that stuff comes in plastic.

And how do you replace saran wrap? In case there are left overs…

Location:, Belgium

Name: Ellen and Pedro

Week: 6

Personal Info:

We are a two person and two feline house hold, we work out, the cats work from home ;-). We have been careful to reduce our waste for years but now we try to focus on reducing plastic waste.

Ellen and Pedro’s personal blog:

List of plastic items REFUSED this week. (Yay!)
Bag with potatoes, we found a degradable bag

Total items collected: 24

Total weight:

Items: Recyclable
1 milk bottle
3 tetra pack
1 plastic water bottle (from the airplane)

Items: Nonrecyclable
1 container toilet refresher
1 cap of deodorant
1 container of butter
3 packages from veggie burgers
3 packages from veggie sandwich spread
1 bag of chips
7 yogurt containers
1 bag with general wraps of ‘stuff’ and some bags of cat food (100gr)

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
We seem to be running out of stuff, there is just sooo much plastic out there

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
We bought oven-ready bread, we could just buy fresh baguettes which come in a paper bag.

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Most of these things so it seems

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
We are going to a different supermarket now which has organic veggies in bulk with biodegradable bags.
We also try to buy as little seperately packed items as possible.

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

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
It is getting difficult to find more ways to reduce our plastic waste. Tips from the community?

Read all posts by: Belgium,Ellen and Pedro

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6 comments
SingleUsePlanet
SingleUsePlanet

Hi Ellen and Pedro,

To your first point, for bread spreads, I would recommend buying peanut butter or almond butter in glass jars with a metal lid (or you can make it yourself). As far as vegan margarines go, I don't recommending eating that in the first place because of all the processed ingredients. If you eat butter, there are a few companies that sell their butter in a paper box with paper-wrapped butter sticks. You can also make butter yourself from heavy whipping cream, and store it in a glass container in the fridge. Are there other "spreads" you are referring to that I am not addressing? Mustards, mayonnaise, ketchup, and other spreads have plastic-free alternatives, as well.

To you second point about leftovers, I haven't used cling wrap since 2009. When I have leftovers, I use tupperware to store my food. I have a variety of sizes, and store them in one of my kitchen cupboards when they are not in use. I do have tupperware made out of plastic, and I do not intend on replacing them with glass or metal alternatives, since I use them so infrequently.

I hope that helps, and let me know if you have any other questions!

Ellen and Pedro
Ellen and Pedro

@SingleUsePlanet Thanks for the tips! We also use tupperware a lot, but it creates more dishes so i was hoping there would be a magical trick ;-). No problem, we have loads of them.

With spreads i mean a variety of things: sandwich spreads, vegan sausage, vegan cheese, all that stuff. It just all comes in plastic. I don't eat butter nor cream, i switched a long time ago to the vegan alternative (soy butter and cream)...maybe it has processed products but I feel (pysically and emotionally) better when not eating the real thing.

All our ketchup, mayo, mustards we have in glas jars, no problems there

Ellen and Pedro
Ellen and Pedro

And how do you keep things fresh (meaning not smelling like everything else in the fridge) if you have leftovers?

The deodorant has a plastic cap and roller only, the rest is glass and can be recycled. I don't think i ever say the baking soda/tee tree deo here.

jonnie
jonnie

@Ellen and Pedro 

To keep leftovers fresh, invest in a few airtight glass or stainless steel containers (Life Without Plastic has great products, or use jars, whatever). There are also bowl covers (see Etsy for examples) that work well, but aren't airtight and wouldn't necessarily restrict food odors.

Ellen and Pedro
Ellen and Pedro

We have containers like, but then we generate more dishes and spend more water. I was just hopeing there was a middle way ;)