July 4, 2012

Plastic Challenge: Beth Terry, Week 26


Location:Oakland, California, United States

Name: Beth Terry

Week: 26

Personal Info:

I am the founder of MyPlasticfreeLife.com 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!)

The most memorable refusal from this week was a wheel of cheese wrapped in plastic. I ordered a wheel of Bellwether Carmody for a book launch event I was having at the Berkeley Ecology Center. I always buy this particular cheese because it doesn’t come wrapped in plastic, and it’s not even coated with wax. Except this time, the Pasta Shop took it upon themselves to wrap the wheel in plastic after they received it from the cheese company. I was shocked. I actually had to go walk away and stand behind a shelf for a few minutes to consider my options and catch my breath. The cheese was already wrapped, and the plastic was already wasted, so should I just take it? But if I did that, I wouldn’t get my point across to the cheese buyer that this cheese should not be wrapped. Finally, I decided to tell them I didn’t want it, that the main reason I order it is because it doesn’t come in plastic, and asked them to order me another wheel. I reasoned that going through this process with them would help them remember not to do it the next time. And for sure, I will remember to request no plastic wrap each time I order from now on.

Total items collected: 7

Total weight: .7 ounces

Items: Recyclable
1) plastic cap from a glass bottle of Heinz white vinegar used for cleaning. Caps-n-Cups (http://www.capsncups.com) will accept all plastic caps, no matter what kind of plastic, to downcycle into secondary products. CapsCanDo (http://capscando.org) will accept most plastic caps.

Items: Nonrecyclable
2) One plastic insert from a glass bottle. (Don’t remember what it was.)

3) One plastic envelope window. Read about what envelope windows are made from: /2009/04/year-2-week-42-results-05-oz-of-plastic/

4) Tape from a box of Lush Toothy Tabs, my toothpaste alternative. /2011/08/searching-for-the-perfect-all-natural-plastic-free-toothpaste-or-powder-or-soap-or/

5) Misc. piece of transparent tape. Don’t remember what it was for.

6) Packing tape from the box the Bellwether Carmody cheese came in. This was the second wheel I ordered after the first was wrapped in plastic. The cheese buyer didn’t even want to open the box this time because she didn’t want to change it in any way from the way it was delivered after my discussion with her. Until now, I didn’t even know it was delivered in a cardboard box with plastic tape.

7) Packing tape from 1 case of Plastic-Free books. (See explanation below.)

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

Plastic cap from vinegar bottle. I haven’t found white vinegar available in glass without any plastic cap or in bulk, but I will switch if I do.

Plastic tape from case of Plastic-Free books. The plastic packing tape does not have an alternative, unfortunately, because the books have all been packed up by the printer, so that horse has already left the barn. If we do a second printing, I will request plastic-free tape, but for the rest of this year, as long as I sell books, I am going to have plastic packaging tape in my tallies. *Sigh* Read more here: /2012/05/compost-this-book-but-first-check-out-how-cool-it-is/

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