July 17, 2009

My Plastic Trash: Week 3

Here are the results of my second week cataloging and saving all my plastic waste. Despite the long list, it’s a big improvement over last week’s results.


2 newspaper bags
1 plastic bag from loaf of french bread
1 plastic packaging from crackers
1 Ziploc
1 plastic bag of walnuts
plastic wrap from cheese
1 Soyjoy wrapper
1 fruit leather wrapper
1 Cliff bar wrapper
1 plastic case for razors
1 plastic spout, cap and pull tab from milk carton


My waste includes 5 plastic bags this week, down from a high of 19 the first week and 6 the second. The Cliff bar and fruit leather were purchased before the start of the challenge (the Soyjoy mango bar was a free sample and not very good). The most obvious ‘oops’ is the plastic bag for the French bread I bought at the farmer’s market. As I walked away, I almost slapped my forehead when I realized I’d grabbed a load wrapped in plastic.


Nine of my 12 items of plastic trash are from food packaging. I could have easily avoided the bread bag, the Ziploc and the snack foods (5 items). The others are a little more difficult — I don’t know of a nearby place to buy bulk nuts, and it seems very difficult to buy cheese or crackers without plastic.


After three weeks I’ve managed to reduce my plastic significantly and it’s becoming much more natural to just walk away from unnecessary plastic packaging when I know I can find an alternative. But have I managed to permanently change my shopping habits in three weeks?


I’m going to take a couple weeks off from tallying my plastic waste and see what happens. Will my vigilance drop when I don’t have to report it online? We’ll see!

(It took me a couple weeks to get around to posting this so I’ll soon have an answer posted here.)

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