March 20, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Beth Terry, Week 11


Location:Oakland, California, United States

Name: Beth Terry

Week: 11

Personal Info:

I am the founder of and have been collecting my plastic and attempting to live as plastic-free as possible since June of 2007.

See my previous years’ tallies at:

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

1) Plastic grocery/shopping bags — bring my own reusable bags wherever I go

2) Bread bag — bought Grace Baking Company bread in a paper bag. Note: I usually buy unwrapped bread from the bakery in my own cloth bag, but this week, I needed bread for a sandwich for a conference the next day and the only store open at the late hour was Safeway. I will reuse the paper bag multiple times before recycling it.

3) Produce stickers — chose produce without stickers

4) Bottled water — carried water in my travel mug and filled up at home and at water fountains.

5) Disposable cup — ordered hot chocolate in my own stainless steel mug

6) Straws — I refused them not only for myself but for everyone sitting at our table in the restaurant Saturday night. Fortunately, the others were the organizers of a plastics conference, so we were all in agreement about no straws. :-)

Total items collected: 10

Total weight: .8 oz

Items: Recyclable
1) prescription bottle — would be accepted in my recycle bin. Unfortunately, prescription bottles cannot simply be refilled in California, which would be the best solution.

2) prescription bottle cap. Caps-n-Cups will accept all plastic caps, no matter what kind of plastic, to downcycle into secondary products. CapsCanDo will accept most plastic caps.

Items: Nonrecyclable
3-10) Plastic stickers and twist tie from replacement mobile phone. Read the details at:


What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
None.  However, my doctor has agreed to prescribe 3 months worth at a time–all in the same bottle, so I will be generating only 1/3 the number of prescription bottles and caps as I would have.  The bottle size stays the same.

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?
Only the prescription is essential.

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
I could give up my mobile phone, but it helps me carry out my work.

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10 years ago

Damn!!u must have a hard life,on a world full with plastic…I hope u could life with ur neighbour….the great pacific garbage patch.
anyway about that neighbour..there is also a solution for it this era. Good luck and keep it going with what u do!